"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living"
Marcus Tullius Cicero


Joan Elizabeth Taylor

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Joan Elizabeth Taylor

Joan Taylor was born in Westampton New Jersey on May 20, 1944.  She was called home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on March12, 2021.  Joan was the tenth child born to the late Antonio and Pauline Rogers.  She attended the Mount Holly Public Schools and graduated from Rancocas Valley Regional High School in 1962.  After graduating from High School, Joan entered the work force before enrolling as an undergraduate student at Montclair State College in 1970.  She successfully completed her undergraduate studies in 1974; receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology.  Joan continued her education at Rutgers University where she received her Master’s Degree in Social Work on January 20, 1976.

Joan married the late Jesse Taylor in 1963. She was a very dedicated mother to her three children; Jesse, Manuel, and Cathy.  She doted her children almost to a fault; but she evidently knew what she was doing.  She was immensely proud of them as they grew into responsible and productive adults.  Her children indeed did rise up and called her blessed.

Her doting didn’t stop with her children; it continued with her grandchildren.  She simply adored them; and her adoration was reciprocated. Her love affair with her grand-children, and their special relationship was truly something to behold.  Joan did everything within her power to make sure her children and grandchildren were raised to reverence, obey, serve, and worship God in the beauty of holiness.


Joan’s educational, professional, and vocational careers covered a wide spectrum.  Her professional career in Social Services took her through various facilities in New York and New Jersey.

In 1987 Joan moved her family to Jacksonville Florida where she expanded her work in the Social Services field.  Never one to just settle for the “status quo”, Joan spent the last 30 plus years impacting the lives of men, women, and children throughout the Jacksonville area.  Whether it was teaching in a public school, a private Christian school, tutoring a young boy or girl Joan impacted the lives of so many!  This continued right to the very end.  When she became ill, she was actively involved in a young boy’s life, tutoring him as she cared for him.  His parents were so comfortable and impressed with Joan’s character and values, that on more than one occasion they asked her to join them as caretaker of their son when they travelled.  Not willing to be away from her children and grandchildren for a prolonged period of time, each time Joan graciously declined their invitations. 

As passionate as Joan was about her vocations and advocations, her real passion was faith and family. They went hand in hand as she prioritized her life activities.  Everything Joan did, however, was dictated by her faith and belief in the Word of God. Studying God’s Word was a huge part of Joan’s life.  On November 14, 2020 she sent a text message to one of her siblings related to a testimony she heard years ago that prompted her to read through the entire Bible for herself.  The following is an excerpt from that text.  “I am now reading through it (the Bible) for the fifth time, and it has been such a blessing.  I take my time and read it at my own pace, looking to know God better and to guide me through life’s ups and downs.  It is invaluable to me.  I love you, Joan”

Joan suffered through the most tragic experience a mother has ever had to endure when her youngest son Manuel was senselessly murdered on October 22, 1993.  She repeatedly said that the Word of God and her faith in God enabled her to endure this tragic and heartbreaking experience.

It was not surprising that Joan would not allow this tragic event to define Manuel’s death.  She made sure that his death would not be in vain; and made sure that the public would know that Manuel Taylor was not just another young black man that was shot and killed. 

She began a passionate campaign against violence and a passionate campaign as an advocate for victim’s rights.  She worked tirelessly and passionately with law enforcement and government officials in her campaign for justice and the recognition that “Life Is Valuable”.  In 1996 Joan was presented the “Citizen Of The Year” award for her “Outstanding Leadership On Behalf Of Victims Of Crime And The Citizens Of Jacksonville, Florida”.


Joan’s brothers and sisters will be forever grateful to her for the birthday celebrations she organized each year.  No one was invited except for the brothers and sisters and their spouses.  No exceptions! Joan said that God had given her that vision.  We are all convinced that indeed that vision came from God.  Each year starting with Joe, then Minerva, then Gene, then Barbara, then Marie, then Norman, then Luis, then Brenda, and finally Ronnie.  There were lots of laughs and lots of tears as we celebrated and reminisced our lives growing up together.  Those priceless moments together would have never happened, had it not been for Joan.  It was mentioned to Joan on more than one occasion that we never had a similar birthday celebration for her.  She simply said that she didn’t want us to do it because it was not part of the vision God had given her.  That was Joan being Joan.


Yes, Joan was passionate about her relationship with her family and special friends.  But this passion was epitomized in her relationship with her children Jesse, Manuel, and Cathy; and her grandchildren.  She was so proud of them; and they are so proud of her.  It is worth repeating, their love affair and special relationship was incredibly special and something to behold.  And now, her children (and grandchildren) do rise up and call her Blessed!!

Joan leaves to mourn her loss, and celebrate her life, her son Jesse Taylor, her daughter Cathy Taylor, and her grandchildren Manuel Strong, Christopher Strong, Miguel Strong,  Jesse Taylor Jr., Al Cola Twigg, Byron Taylor, and Jessica (Nikki) Taylor.  Also mourning her loss and celebrating her life are her brothers and sisters Eugene Rogers (Beverly), Barbara Perez, Marie Caldwell, Norman Rogers (Lola), Luis Rogers Sr (Mary), Brenda McDaniel, and Ronald Rogers (Pamela); special friends, Gwen Taylor, Donna Neil, Harriet West, Janet Reed, and Barbara Johnson-Thomas; and a host of in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives and friends.  Preceding Joan in death were her older brothers Joseph Rogers and Thomas Rogers and her older sisters Minerva Bell and Catherine Rogers. 

Joan was such an unselfish and caring person.  She already is and shall continue to be missed.  Our loss is Heaven’s Gain.

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