After a short battle with cancer, Claudia Taylor passed away on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at the home of her daughter-in-law, Becky, in Rancho Marietta. During her last days, her husband of 20 years, Cliff, sat by her bedside holding her hand.
Claudia was active in many conservative causes including the Nevada County Tea Party (secretary), Liberty Camp for Kids (co-founder), Nevada County Republican Women Federated, Protecting American Ideals (secretary, education group), Nevada County Central Committee (member, past secretary), and Delegate, California Republican Party, just to name a few. She and Cliff were also active at their church and volunteers at LivingWell Medical Clinic.
"Claudia showed up at one of our first Protecting American Ideals (PAI) meetings, matching flower in her hair and exuding energy, enthusiasm and a life-long love of learning," Judy Woods shared. "She immediately saw the need for minutes and volunteered to take them, recording every meeting and painstakingly transcribing the proceedings, which at times bordered on anarchy," Wood continued. "At the beginning of the next meeting, she patiently reminded us of the benefits of “order”, raising our hands, being called on, etc.—and with rolled eyes would watch the meeting descend into creative chaos. Her wisdom, great judgement and 40 years of experience helped her to guide us in an alien land—the education labyrinth. We will greatly miss our shepherdess."
“I can’t remember when I first met Claudia. It could have been at any one of many conservative organization meetings we both attended.” recalled Nancy Peirce. “I do remember her no nonsense personality without fluff or pretense. To me she actually seemed kind of intimidating. We shared a friend in common, Jan Collins, who had the upmost respect for Claudia, recognized her good heart, and often related how much she contributed. That helped me see past the stern exterior.”
Claudia, like many in Nevada County, loved community service and conservative causes. She was a “doer” not just a “joiner”. The list of organizations for which she was secretary is long. She routinely recorded and then transcribed meeting minutes for organizations she served. This brought its own issues, namely, trying to discern between recorded voices to accurately represent in written form the meeting’s events. Many recall being reprimanded, “Don’t talk over each other. Raise you hand and be recognized!”
“In the last two years, Claudia has become an almost daily figure in my life. Most weekday mornings we either called or texted, and sometimes both. Over this period of time I came to rely on her advice, gentle nudges, and insights,” Peirce stated. “As officers in the Nevada County Tea Party, we organized monthly programs with speakers, movies, candidates, presentations, celebrations, and parades for most of 18 months. I came to depend on her willingness to pitch in with supplies, either from home or purchased, and to show up early and stay late after events. Claudia was our prayer warrior and I counted on her to pray for the health of our members, organization, and the country. She was truly the dearest of friends!”
Amy Young said, “One thing about Claudia is that she was always showing up to help and support whatever freedom fight someone was trying to get started. For me she was one of the first people who took me seriously and wanted to help. It meant so much to me when I felt like a voice in the desert.”
Long time friends, Sue McGuire and Cheryl Heward, remember Claudia as a committed follower of Christ. McGuire said, “She was a straight shooter, fearless in confronting opposition, expressed herself with intelligence and accepted input from similar people who reached beyond an initial bristling appearance to find a genuine, sincere person, authentic Christian and patriotic American.”
Claudia was a life long educator, teaching for 37.5 years in San Jose, California where she taught Business and English, and was a program coordinator and grant writer. She retired in 2007 and moved to Lake of the Pines. Later she taught U.S. Constitution classes in Nevada County along side McGuire and Heward. She and Heward also co-developed the curriculum for Liberty Camp, a summer camp for children where they taught the founding American principles through activities and games.
Heward recalled, “I discovered as I got to know Claudia all of her positive attributes including organizational skills and intelligent additions when editing my teaching plans. She would just laugh and laugh with me as we worked on the curriculum for Liberty Camp. I think she tried to settle me down and reign in my wild enthusiastic plans. She kept saying, ‘Are you sure we want to change the final day to a 'free-fer-all' with the entire camp doing activities together?’ “
Heward continued, “The activity I had in mind was ‘capture the flag’ and Miss Claudia was just sure it would be mayhem and insanity, but she let me do it, and we all had such a good time. Claudia’s laughter was a wonderful addition to any conversation we had. That is one of my favorite memories with Claudia. We had so much fun together. Our last texts were regarding a new art project in which Claudia said she liked, but asked me, ‘What does it have to do with Liberty Camp?’ That still makes me chuckle!“
Heward added, “I miss her terribly and haven’t figured out how to continue Liberty Camp without my pal. I know Claudia is with Jesus now and she is fully healed. I am grateful to have known her. She was a kind, generous, funny, talented teacher, a great Patriot, and faithful Christian woman. She was quite the character and I am better for having known her.”
Peirce concluded, “Claudia’s considerable involvement with conservative causes was notable and so her passing will leave a deep void in our community. She was a committed Christian and devoted wife to Cliff. Claudia will always be known for her direct manner, astute mind, work ethic, and the ever present flower in her hair. Claudia's life was a well lived 'dash' and we are better for having the privilege of knowing and working along side her. She will surely be missed!”
Claudia's Celebration of Life took place on:
Saturday April 1, 2023 - 2 pm
22924 W. Hacienda Drive
Grass Valley, CA 94949
Cards may be sent to:
Cliff Taylor and Family
C/O 6520 Puerto Drive
Rancho Murieta, CA 95683
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.