Sally Taylor, professor emeritus of botany, who taught at Connecticut College for 25 years, from 1965–1990, passed away April 23, 2022 in Mystic, Connecticut.
Born in 1925 in Oakland, California, she grew up on an apple orchard in Winterport, Maine. She received a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Maine and a master’s at the University of Indiana. After graduation, she worked at Pfizer Inc. in Brooklyn, N.Y., until her marriage to Dr. Roy J. Taylor. She joined Conn in 1965 as a professor of botany.
During her tenure, she served as chair of the Botany Department, director of the program in Human Ecology (now the Environmental Studies department) and managed the Caroline Black Garden. She wrote many Arboretum bulletins on woody plants and marine algae, served as editor of two publications for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and wrote a book, “A Traveler’s Guide to the Woody Plants of Turkey,” based on research and her numerous trips to the country.
After she retired in 1990, her preservation and educational efforts were recognized by the Connecticut Horticultural Society, which presented her with its prestigious Mehlquist Award. Conn’s Board of Trustees, on the recommendation of the Botany Department and Arboretum, named a 24-acre tract in the Arboretum the Sally Lockett Taylor Tract. This parcel is adjacent to her home for many years.
For more than a decade after her retirement, she volunteered as the Arboretum’s education coordinator. She organized year-round educational programs, taught many courses and workshops, led Mother’s Day walks in the Caroline Black Garden, oversaw annual plant sales and served as a trusted adviser. Each year, the Sally L. Taylor Prize for consistent excellence in the field of botany is offered by the Botany Department to a graduating senior in her honor.
A committed environmentalist, she served on the Waterford Conservation Commission, the Southeastern Connecticut Resource and Recycling Association, the boards of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, the Pequot Woods and the Waterford Land Trust. She also served on the Governor’s Commission for Connecticut’s Future, the State Natural Area Preserve Advisory Committee and the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority Advisor Board.
She is survived by her three children, Nan, Roy and Sally; her eight grandchildren; and her 10 great-grandchildren.