Cover photo for Dr. Erma N. Taylor's Obituary
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Dr. Erma N. Taylor

Our beloved mother, Dr. Erma Noel Taylor, gained her heavenly wings on September 5, 2023. She began her life’s journey on November 3, 1943 in Martinsville, VA. At the ripe old age of six years old, she relocated to Columbus, OH where she began leaving her indelible mark on the community at large. Very early in life, Erma discovered her life’s purpose and passion–education. After she graduated from East High School as the salutatorian of her class, Erma enrolled in The Ohio State University where she earned all three of her degrees.

Erma dedicated her life to the field of education. She was proficient as an educator and as a principal, and she would not hesitate to help, mentor, and encourage other educational professionals. Her exemplary work ethics and reformative abilities gained recognition, not only within the educational community, but also all the way up into the Governor’s office.

Erma’s passion for educating was not limited to only the academic community, though. She lent her skills and talents to many other organizations, but particularly to Trinity Baptist Church. As a dedicated member for over 70 years, she selflessly contributed to the church community serving in numerous roles, such as the director of the nursery; leader of the teen ministry; principal of the Vacation Bible School; and, the president of the YAH (Young at Heart) ministry. Wherever there was a void, she would immediately step up and assist those in need.

Erma’s generosity was second to none. She promptly provided her time, service, and/or monetary assistance. She regularly donated to several charities, collected food and clothing items for the less fortunate, volunteered in the church’s kitchen serving food to the hungry, and supplemented various college students’ financial deficits. At times, even though extremely busy, she would stop what she was doing and help an elderly person across the street–simple yet meaningful acts of kindness.

Erma was extremely generous, but all that kindness would come to a screeching halt if you challenged her to a game of Scrabble. All bets were off, and she took no prisoners, regardless if you were five or 105. In addition to a spirited game of Scrabble, Erma enjoyed reading, studying her Bible, completing puzzles, watching political shows and Whodunit mysteries, playing cards, attending OSU games, but, especially, spending time with her family where guaranteed intriguing conversations and lots of laughter ensued.

Erma’s family was her pride and joy. She leaves behind her two daughters, Adrienne A. Taylor and Stacy (Ron “Buster”) L. Cunningham, as well as her grandchildren, Alexis L. L. Cunningham and Cierra T. Cunningham. Aside from the children she doted on, Erma is survived by her sister, Cora A. Greenfield; niece, Vanya (John) H. Burkhalter; great niece, Jiselle R. Burkhalter; great nephews, John L. Burkhalter, Jr. and James A. Burkhalter; great-great niece, Ava D. Klacik; best friend/line sister of 591⁄2 years, Dr. Rosie N. Doughty, and, a whole host of friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Erma will be remembered as the beautiful and classy woman who served as a mentor, guide, and encourager to countless individuals in the academic and local communities. She utilized her personal resources to pave the way for others and to enhance their lives. Erma’s memory will live on in the hearts of all of those who she encountered. Her kindness, wisdom, generosity, and love will forever remain with those whose lives she touched.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be given to: Urban Strings Columbus (

On September 15, 2023, there will be a visitation at 11:30am – 1230pm followed by Delta Sigma Theta’s Omega Omega Service and funeral service at 1:00 pm at MARLAN GARY FUNERAL HOME, THE CHAPEL OF PEACE NORTH 2500 Cleveland Ave., Interment at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Erma N. Taylor, please visit our flower store.


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