Visitors left Colleen Taylor’s house with a full belly and an unburdened heart. Colleen loved caring for people, and she did that by listening to and cooking for them as well as sharing laughter and tears. Her husband and children relied on her strength, support, specialty pecan pies, and green bean dumpling soup to see them through a lifetime of celebrations and challenges. On many summer days, Colleen could be seen investigating the waters searching for creatures only grandsons would enjoy at Big Creek Stepping Stones Park. Mama Colleen’s kindness and generosity spread to countless others and she always had plenty of time, energy, and room in her heart to nurture an extended group of non-biological family members that she collected over the years. An extraordinary gift that she shared with others was to make each person she cared about feel seen, accepted, and loved. Although Colleen’s passion was to build community through hospitality at home and work, she was also committed to wringing as much fun out of life as she could. Her fully stamped passport, and Dolly Parton ticket stubs are a testament to her adventurous spirit.
Colleen Kae Taylor (née Hovey) was born on June 9, 1950 in Trenton Nebraska to Wilma Lucille and Robert Louis Hovey. She graduated in 1968 from Downs High School, and then went on to earn her civil service certification in Manhattan, Kansas. Colleen began working in the Department of Art and Design at Fort Hays State University in 1971. This marked the beginning of an amazing 45-year career as a senior administrative assistant of which she retired in 2016. During her time at FHSU, she encouraged and mentored a myriad of students and faculty that will never forget her kindness and lively spirit. Colleen married her true love, Paul Taylor, on March 6, 1982. Together they raised five children—each of which had their own unique strengths and personalities. As a mother, Colleen created a secure, loving, and supportive space for each of them to discover their path in life and was always there to provide open arms and incredible advice whenever you needed it.
On November 9, 2019, at age 69, Colleen passed away in Hays, Kansas. Colleen will be forever remembered by her husband and best friend Paul, and their children, Nicole, Andrea, Joel, Charles, and Paul II, and her grandchildren River and Castle. She will also be remembered by her brother and sister-in-law, Bob and Bette, numerous friends, and loyal service dog Nikka. Per usual, Colleen never wanted anyone making a fuss about her and requested not to have a funeral. Instead, the family will hold a celebration of her life at a later date (TBA). In lieu of flowers or other gifts, Colleen requested any gifts should be in the way of scholarships for the thousands of students she loved and the thousands of lives she touched. She lived with a giving and full heart, and after all her years at the Art and Design Department, it was clear her heart was truly for the students and the people she worked with. Her family wishes to honor her request. Colleen, thank you for everything. We will miss you forever. Luv u and HUGS!
If you would like to make a memorial donation to the Art and Design scholarship fund in Colleen's name, you can do so in two ways.
Donations can be mailed to:
P.O. Box 1060
Hays, KS 67601
*Please state the donation is in honor of Colleen Taylor on the memo line of your check.
Donations can also be made online:
*Please designate “Other/Memorial” donation in honor of Colleen Taylor.
Condolences may be left by guest book at www.keithleyfuneralchapels.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arrangements in care of Brock’s-Keithley Funeral Chapel and Crematory 2509 Vine Hays, KS 67601.