In Harmony, Small Things Grow: St. Mary’s Ryken Celebrates Alum’s 80th Reunion with a Tree Planting

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St. Mary’s Ryken High School celebrated the 80th high school reunion of Loretta  Abell Taylor on Oct. 20 with a Mass, tree planting and reception.

Affectionately known as “Tiny T” in our community, she graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in 1942, which later merged with Ryken High School in 1981 to form St. Mary’s Ryken High School. Her children, grandchildren, and great-children surrounded Tiny T as the family gathered for Mass in the Chapel of Charity to kick off the celebration. A fitting celebration since renovations to the Chapel of Charity in 2001 was dedicated by Tiny and her late husband, Francis E. Taylor. 

The traditional 80th anniversary gift is oak. SMR surprised Tiny T by planting an oak tree on the school grounds. Father Scott Woods, a longtime family friend, presided over the mass and tree blessings. Afterward, the family gathered for a dinner reception.

“We are truly blessed to have the Taylor Family and “Tiny T” as part of the St. Mary’s Ryken legacy,” said SMR President, Dr. Rick Wood. “Tiny is such a special person and we treasure being in her presence and hearing all of her stories about her time at SMA. The oak tree on our campus will serve as a symbol of her strength and loyalty to our school community.”

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