Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor

Obituary of Elizabeth Rauch Taylor

We are sad to announce that Betty Taylor crossed over to the next life on January 10, 2024.

She was born on December 26, 1930, and is survived by her husband Lee, her two sons Brad & Greg, and daughter-in-law Donna Taylor, her brother Paul Rauch, various nieces and nephews, and many friends. We will all miss her so very much.

Services will be held on February 24, 2024 1:30 PM at Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church 11500 W 20th Ave, Lakewood, CO 80215 (South East corner of Simms and 20th)

If you plan to attend, please RSVP by sending a text to Greg at 720-921-6543

For those who are unable to attend in person, a live stream and recording of the memorial service will be provided:


Also, see the below links:

Slide show of photos with Betty Taylor’s piano music in the background: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrKQraLPbKI

Still shot photos: https://littlecub.smugmug.com/People/Betty-Taylor

Finally, below is a short biography of Betty’s life:


Born December 26, 1930 in Oak Park, Illinois near Chicago, Crossed over to the next life on January 10, 2024

Betty was raised in Wheaton, Illinois, a quiet suburb of approximately 7,000 people about 30 miles west of Chicago. At the age of 5, her father died which left her mother to raise 3 children on her own: sister Barbara – 7, Betty – 5, and Paul – 2. Her mother then became the mother/father role model for all 3 children. Her mother was very successful in all roles: she set up a business as a brick distributor in Chicago and also was a sympathetic and loving young mother.

After starting piano lessons in the 5th grade at age 10, music became a major interest in Betty’s life. She started with a traditional classical teacher and later learned improvisation. She followed this musical interest through high school and college, and in 1952 received a Bachelor of Music Education from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.

After graduation, she “sprouted her wings” and came west. She had gotten a taste of Colorado when the family came west for her sister’s graduation from C.U. Like many such transplants, she had fallen in love with the beauty of Colorado. During her first summer here, she got a waitress job at a dude ranch in Estes Park.

That fall she took a short trip to Illinois and arrived back in Colorado in October after the school year had already started. She luckily found an opening but as a librarian in an elementary school in Arvada. (She said she didn’t even know what the Dewey decimal system was.) At the end of the year, she decided to go into general elementary teaching rather than strictly music so she needed some additional classes. One year later in 1954, she received her Master of Elementary Education from C.U. and the following fall was hired as a 1st-grade teacher in the Denver Public Schools.

Five years later she met and became enamored with a young optometrist, Dr. Lee Taylor, who had set up his practice in Lakewood 3 years prior to their meeting. The timing was right, as was Lee’s sense of humor. In 1960 they tied the knot and began their future together. Three years later they found a beautiful vacant lot in Lakewood with a view of the mountains. Betty’s brother-in-law, Oluf Nielsen, an architect and husband of Betty’s sister Barbara designed and engineered a contemporary house for them.

They moved into the house in August of 1963. Meanwhile, the family had expanded. Bradley was born in 1961. Gregory in 1963 – a few months before the house was completed – a busy time for all!

But that of course is not the end of the story. While raising her two boys, she continued her musical journey acquiring a banjo and later a guitar. She learned the classical guitar and continued playing the piano, keeping up with current popular tunes of the 60's, 70’s, and beyond while learning some advanced classical music including pieces by Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and Gershwin. She also taught Greg his first year or so of piano lessons and continued to guide and inspire him and teach him improvisation.

But music was not Betty’s only interest. She beautified the family home by planting all sorts of flowers, landscaping, and got Lee to help her plant trees. She planned the family vacations, went ice skating, skiing (much of it in Vail after the family purchased a condominium there), swimming, and hiking. The places she traveled to included New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, several mid-west, eastern, and southeastern US states, and cruises to Alaska, the Mississippi river, and the Caribbean.

She always reached out to her neighbors and helped people in many ways. She also involved herself in many ‘sacrificial’ activities such as creating Halloween and play costumes, acting as a “pet caretaker” (for 2 dogs and 2 cats!), house painting, mowing and watering the front lawn, was a cub scouts “den mother”, cooking wonderful meals, and keeping up with housework and so many other needs.

Once Brad and Greg reached high school age, Betty went back to work, first as a private piano teacher, then as a public school teacher, and finally as a legal secretary. She also kept active in music playing piano for the vocal group “La Boca”, playing as a duo with vocalist Linda Kundert, and also directed and arranged music for Harpin’ Harmonicas and the West Wind Harmonica Band.

In 1988, Brad suffered a debilitating injury from a motocross accident which paralyzed him from the neck down. Amazingly, he worked himself into an independent living situation in Greeley.

Betty and Lee would drive from Lakewood to Greeley almost every week-end to visit Brad and help with some of his practical needs.

Betty continued to be very active until about 2018 when she started to suffer from some type of dementia (most likely Alzheimer's). By this time she had also started to lose her hearing and her eyesight and was unable to enjoy music or reading. By 2023, the family had to make the difficult decision to place her in Peak Gardens assisted living facility in Lakewood. The staff and the residents loved her as she was so kind and sweet.

Betty embarked on her biggest journey ever – to the next life on January 10, 2024 at the age of 93 having lived quite an amazing life.

She is survived by her husband Lee, her two sons Brad and Greg, daughter-in-law Donna Taylor, brother Paul Rauch, various nieces and nephews, and many friends. We will all miss her so very much.

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