Cleo Worley Taylor | The Wilson Times
The Wilson Times

Cleo Worley Taylor

Posted on May 18, 2022


WILSON - Cleo Worley Taylor, 87, passed away Wednesday, May 18, 2022 after a period of declining health.

A service celebrating her life will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 2 pm at Forest Hills Baptist Church, 1407 Forest Hills Rd, Wilson followed by visitation.

She was born on August 6, 1934, in Edgecombe County to the late Ethel Sullivan and Levi Thomas Worley. She was married to John Ray Taylor for 66 years until his passing in 2019. Cleo and John Ray were high school sweethearts and graduated from Charles L. Coon High School, proud members of their beloved class of 1952. After working as a school secretary at Winstead Elementary School, Cleo earned a degree in elementary education from Atlantic Christian College and dedicated herself to teaching at Rock Ridge Elementary School. Her teaching colleagues became some of her dearest friends and she has maintained strong ties to many students and their families in the Rock Ridge community.

Cleo was a faithful member of Forest Hills Baptist Church and the Dorcas Class. She taught Sunday School, played in the Handbell Choir and chaired the Educational Foundation Committee. Cleo loved people and was drawn to volunteering throughout her community. Wilson Medical Center, The Brian Center, Wilson County Board of Elections, Wilson County Schools and Community Soup Kitchen of Wilson were recipients of her time and desire to serve others.

She was a loyal neighbor in Westwood for decades where she enjoyed her walls of family portraits and her yard of flowers, bird feeders and swing. She had recently moved to The Landing at Parkwood Village.

Cleo enjoyed her weekly trips to the Wilson County Library, being at the beach with her family and playing cards or board games with her family and friends.

She is survived by her children: Lynn Ethridge and husband, Lindsey, of Wilson, Beverly Johnson and husband, Alan, of Greensboro, John Taylor of Chesterfield, VA, and Lori Brown and husband, Mark, of Wilson. Her grandchildren will always remember their Nana's legacy of love and adventure. They are Sarah Ethridge Bolin and husband, Jason, of Jacksonville, FL, Susan Ethridge Pitts and husband, David, of Wilson, Taylor Johnson and wife, Karla, of Nashville, TN, Frances Johnson Beasley and husband, Johnson, of Denver, CO, Will Brown and wife, Whitney, of Greensboro, Rob Brown and wife, Kristin, of Apex, and Matthew Brown of Raleigh; her great-grandchildren are Jay and Caroline Bolin, Ava Pitts, Charlie and Harper Johnson, Thomas Brown, and Baby Beasley to be born in August. She is also survived by a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Billy and Billie Jean Taylor and many special nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the staff and residents at The Landing, Community Home Care and Hospice of Wilson and will always be grateful for the capable and loving team of caregivers in Verona Strayhorn, Barbara Thomas, Mary Brown and Brenda Richardson.

Memorials may be directed to the Cleo Taylor Education Fund at Forest Hills Baptist Church, 1407 Forest Hills Road, Wilson, NC 27896, to provide financial assistance to students seeking higher education.

Arrangements by Wilson Memorial Service, 2811 Fieldstream Dr. N, Wilson, 237-7171;

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