Doris Taylor, a prominent member of the Berlin community, has bequeathed $50,000.00 to Atlantic General Hospital. According to her personal representative, former employee and life-long friend Christine Rayne, the hospital had always been very important to Taylor.
Taylor took several trips across the bay to express the need for a hospital in Worcester County at the state’s hearings more than thirteen years ago.
“She talked everywhere she went about Atlantic General Hospital,” said Rayne. “She was very supportive.”
Taylor supported many causes throughout her life. Economic development, women’s issues, the humane treatment of cats, and the preservation of history were all concerns.
In 1952, she was a charter president for the Berlin/Ocean City Soroptimist Club. A love of cats led to an active involvement in the Worcester County Humane Society.
She was a member of the Woman’s Club of Ocean City for more than 25 years and sat on the Board of Directors of the Taylor Museum for several years.
Taylor’s independence and vitality and her varied interests made her well-known to the small Eastern Shore community. She was an avid bridge player, who once had a perfect no-trump hand that was written about in newspapers across the country.
But she was also a life-long member of the Sinepuxent Rod and Gun Club, which her husband, T.K. Taylor, co-founded. Doris was a petite woman, but she loved to shoot for sport. Her husband built a special rifle with a shortened stock to fit her small frame, and she was known to outshoot many a man.
Taylor had strong roots from which to grow in the Berlin and Ocean City communities. She was the daughter of Mary Fairbank Benson, a gifted amateur painter, and E. H. Benson, a jeweler. The family moved to Berlin from St. Michaels, Md. in 1906 and opened Benson’s Jewelers in downtown Berlin. They also owned the Benson Hotel on 9th Street and Baltimore Avenue in Ocean City.
Doris married T.K. Taylor who was also a jeweler in 1922, and the couple eventually took over her parents’ jewelry store, relocating it across town with the new name of the Treasure Chest. Around the same time, they opened an additional store inside the Benson Hotel.
The Taylors were civic-minded businesspeople, but they were also social creatures. Rayne, who worked at the Treasure Chest for ten years, talks of the days when all stores were closed on Wednesdays and Sundays. The Taylors would invite all their friends for outings on The Doris, their 42-foot cabin boat, on those days.
“She was a special person,” said Rayne, “[She and her husband] enjoyed life, and they involved everyone around them.”
Doris maintained her youth and independence into her later years and stayed very active even after her husband’s death in 1978. She drove until she was 93 and lived on her own until she was 99, only entering the Berlin Nursing Home a few months before her death in September 2004.
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