Nona Mae Robinson Taylor blessed Wilbur and Ollie Roberson with her birth on February 7, 1932. Nona was a very whimsical and musical child. She started piano lessons at the age of 3 years old and she was always singing, jazz, blues and humming tunes. As a child she began writing stories, poetry songs and stage plays. She was always selected in elementary school and later in high school to give speeches, be the lead in the play and play the piano. She constantly was organizing people in clubs, groups, plays, after school meetings, which drove her mother crazy. Her mother did not know what to expect when she came home. Nona graduated at 16 years old from Central High school and went to Campbell College. At Campbell, she was, of course, in various clubs and was singing in the school's choir. One day the teacher asked her to sing solo and recorded the song. Nona would say, "...when I heard that recording, that's the first time I knew I really can sing." And sing she did. She went on to study and sing opera and later recorded several records, which took her to New York. After returning to Omaha, she started to satisfy her love for children as Program Director of Christ Child Society. There she developed creative programs for inter-city youths. Later Christ Child was known for its annual Christmas choiring, where children choired throughout North Omaha. It was so beautiful to hear and see. Nona moved on to the YWCA, off Lake Street, as its Program Director and then to Wesley House. She and Wesley House Executive Director, Rodney Weed, had numerous accomplishments together: the first Black radio station in Omaha, Credit Union, Health Care Clinic and the list goes on. She gave a talent show, recruiting North Omaha's talented youth. The talent show was performed at Tech's Auditorium and Little Stevie Wonder also performed. After Wesley House, she became the Executive Director of YWCA, now called the WCA.
In 1973, Nona moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She worked for Community Relations Social Development Commission (CR-SDC). Nona returned to Omaha in 1983 to care for her mother. After her mother passed, she worked for the Episcopal Archdiocese. She served the diocese's mission by traveling the United States and parts of the World providing economic infusion to educationally distressed communities. In between serving the Archdiocese, she created Soul Fire. A multi-cultural program targeting North High School, South High School and Benson High School students. Soul Fire taught high school students their heritage and develop theater, writing, singing and art talents. Soul Fire had multiple theater productions which incorporated all the students' talents throughout the year. Soul Fire served over 300 children. Nona retuned to Milwaukee and worked for V.E. Carter Day Care Center and as Grant Writer and Program Director. The Center was awarded over a million dollars and the programs she installed excelled V.E. Carter to receive the Federal's Child Excellence Center Award. She extended Carter's academic performance by developing a charter school for children K-5. Carter Day Care educated over 800 children. Nona went to Milwaukee Urban League as its Program Director and then became a private consultant after she left. Nona developed another health care clinic while consulting and also a health care clinic in the 1980's; which totaled three health care clinics. She retired and moved back home to Omaha where she lived out the remaining years of her wonderful 90 years of life. Nona's life was dedicated to our community's children and health. Her massive devotion for positive change touched thousands of lives. Whatever she thought she created and whatever she created she finished...a lost so hard to replace.
She is preceded in death by her father, Wilbur Robinson, and mother, Ollie Robinson and her son, Steven Lawrence King. She survived by her daughter, Holli Clayborn, and two sons Dana Taylor (LeRona Taylor), and Raymond Taylor, Jr. Her beautiful grandchildren, Julien Pryor, David Pryor, Nona Clayborn, Jalin Cook, Lonzo Taylor, Kaylah Taylor and Zoey Taylor, Lance Taylor, and Lamar Taylor. Nona always said she was kissed by angels to have great-grandchildren, Eli Pryor-Harris, Zion Pryor Johnson and Drake Pryor Johnson. Her beloved friend, Joan Standifer, who she loved dearly.
Her family invites you to her LIFE CELEBRATION on Saturday, August 13, at 1pm at the Church of the Resurrection, 3014 Belvedere, Omaha, NE.