Obituary, Scott Valley

Jean Taylor

April 9, 1945  –  September 8, 2023

Source: Girdner Funeral Chapel


Jean Taylor passed peacefully at her home in Scott Valley on September 8, 2023. A lifelong Siskiyou County resident, Jean was born on April 9, 1945 in Weed to Jack and Meribeth Messner. She spent her first five years of life in Dunsmuir before moving with her family to Yreka. Jean attended Jackson Street and Gold Street Elementary Schools and graduated from Yreka High School in 1963. Her childhood was spent playing with neighborhood friends, fishing in the Klamath River and elsewhere with her parents, playing clarinet in the school band and spending time with her beloved Aunt Annie (Hovenden) on the family ranch in Etna.

After high school, Jean attended Chico State University where she majored in biology and experienced life in the big city. Along with many cherished memories and college friends, she met and fell in love with Michael Taylor, a fellow biology major. After graduating from Chico State with her teaching certificate, Jean taught elementary school in Los Molinos for two years. She and Mike were married in 1967 in Paradise while he was home on leave from the Army before heading overseas to serve in Vietnam. After Mike’s discharge from the Army, the newlyweds moved to Scott Valley where Mike took a job teaching at Fort Jones Elementary. Soon thereafter, they welcomed their first daughter, Jennie, and several years later, their second daughter, Susannah.

Jean loved motherhood and was always eager to help, whether with 4-H projects, field trips, or the ponytail softball concession stand. She passed her love of hiking, fishing, and camping to her daughters, and many a perfect summer day was spent in the mountains near Etna. Besides motherhood, Jean also did some substitute teaching and then switched careers to work remotely as an Integrated Circuit Layout Designer for Intersil and then Maxim Integrated Products of the Bay Area, helping to develop chips used in many cutting-edge products.

After raising her children, Jean rediscovered her love of watercolor painting and drawing, and spent many hours sketching and painting birds, flowers and other natural treasures. She was also blessed with the greenest of green thumbs, creating beautiful yards and gardens around her home. Not one to sit idle, she kept busy cooking, creating, birdwatching, participating in the Native Daughters of the Golden West or visiting with friends and family.

Jean will be missed tremendously by her loving husband of 56 years, Mike, and her daughters Jennie (Bert) Skillen of Colfax, California and Susannah (Jeff) Ferguson of Columbia, Missouri. She also leaves six grandchildren, her sister Susan (Ron) Coulter, and numerous extended family members and dear friends.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, September 22, 2023 at 11:00 AM at the Etna Cemetery in Etna. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Madrone Hospice or The Nature Conservancy.

Graveside Service

Friday, September 22, 2023


Etna Cemetery 
Sawyers Bar Road 
Etna, CA 96027

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