More than 150 family members and friends gathered at the Knights of Columbus to honor lifelong Lynn resident Mary (MacDonald) Taylor at an 80th surprise birthday party.
Among the invited guests was Mayor Tom McGee, who presented a citation to Mrs. Taylor, congratulating her on the milestone and wishing her continued health and happiness in her future years.
There was plenty of love and warmth in the festively decorated hall as Mrs. Taylor’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren paid tribute to the leader of this proud Lynn family who has brought so much joy and happiness in to their lives.
Jean Gallo, one of 10 children to Mary Taylor and her husband, the late Arthur Taylor Sr., helped organize the party along with her brothers and sisters.
“I know my parents met on a blind date,” said Jean. “They were married over 40 years.”
Mary was born in the family home on Myrtle Street on Feb. 15, 1938, to Patrick and Christina (Martyn) MacDonald, who both emigrated from Ireland to the United States and later met in this country. She was one of four children.
Mary grew up on Blakely Street and attended Sacred Heart School and Lynn Classical High School. The Taylor family eventually moved to Nelson Street where she helped raise 10 children.
“When we were kids, she worked in various jobs, but mostly she was a homemaker – a great mother,” said Jean, adding that her father worked at General Electric.
As the family grew (she has been blessed with 20 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren), Mary Taylor welcomed the new roles of grandmother and great-grandmother, attending their school events, athletic games, and dance recitals while taking tremendous pride in their achievements.
“My mother always put the family first and herself after her kids,” said Jean. “Her kids and her family were A-number one. And all the grandkids and great-grandkids adore her.”
Jean said her mother is very proud to tell people she is from Lynn. “She loves this city. She is a very proud Lynn woman. She loves Lynn restaurants. Her favorites are Old Tyme Italian Cuisine for the chicken parm and the Porthole where she loves the haddock.”
Guests at the surprise party had a ball sharing stories of Mary Taylor’s warmth and kindness.
“She’s just a hard-working, loving person and we’re all so proud of her,” said Jean Gallo. “She started a great family and we’re so proud to be her children.”
The smile on Mary Taylor’s face said it all. She was having a wonderful time and for once, not by her design, she was the center of attention. This was her night to be recognized, a woman who will be forever revered by her family.