Cover photo for Dorothy Avant Taylor's Obituary
Dorothy Avant Taylor Profile Photo

Dorothy Avant Taylor

January 7, 1920 — July 8, 2018

Dorothy Avant Taylor

Dorothy Avant Taylor was born January 5, 1920 in Des Moines, Iowa to Mattie (Bradshaw) Avant and Thomas Avant Sr.

Dorothy graduated from North High School in Des Moines, and received a bachelors degree from Drake University, also in Des Moines, IA.

In her early life, Dorothy worked in her familys tailoring business located in the historic African-American business district located on Second and Keo; where the family established a barber shop and cleaners. As an adult, Dorothy was a homemaker who enjoyed baking and sewing. She was an excellent seamstress who often made designer quality clothing for her children and others who desired to wear her creations.

Dorothy was a member of the Patroness Club of Phi Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and leader for the Pixie Blue Bird troop. She was a community activist who was also a member of the NAACP. Dorothy assisted her sister, Ellaree Clinton-Taylor in her successful campaign to become the first Black Woman from Iowa, elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago (1968). She loved listening to music and spending time with family.

Dorothy Avant Taylor, passed from this life on Sunday, July 8th, 2018, in Denver, CO surrounded by her loving family. She was preceded in death by her parents, Mattie Bradshaw Avant and Thomas Avant Sr; siblings, Thomas Avant, Arthur Avant, Donald Avant Sr, Lucille Cox and Ellaree Clinton-Taylor; children, Berthaline and Erwin; and great-grandson, Prentiss Pierre Moore.

She is survived by her sister, Marguerite Avant of Des Moines; sister in-law, Marie Avant of Saylorville, Iowa; children, Marguerite Jennette Taylor of Denver, Co, Mary Jane Massey of Denver, CO and Alice Marie Taylor-Harris (Marvin) of Denver, CO; Dennis (Maye) Irving of Centennial, CO; grandchildren, Jeannine Sharp of Denver, CO, William L Massey (Helen) of Denver, CO, Charlezetta Lynne Francis of Dallas, TX, Charles Brian Griffith of Aurora, CO, Christina Francis-Lindsay (David) of Mesa, AZ, Morris Massey Jr of Denver, CO; great grandchildren, Ryan Griffith, Antonio M. Griffith, both of Denver, CO and Tori Barber of Mesa, AZ; and great great great grandchildren, Safire, Penelope and Prentiss Griffith-Moore, Jr. of Dayton, OH, Harlem Griffith-Moore of Huntsville, AL, Nevaeha Rene Griffith of Aurora, CO, Makhyla Royal Griffith of Aurora, CO and Dion Jonas Griffith of Denver, CO, special family friend like a son, Marvin Moore; and a family near and dear to her heart, The Greenfield family along with a host of family and friends.

Dorothy will be remembered for her infectious smile and her gift of making people feel loved and welcomed. Her spunky spirit will truly be missed on this side. Celebration of Life

Friday, July 20, 2018

Starts at 1:00pm

Iowa Veteran's Cemetery


Friday, July 20, 2018

Starts at 2:00pm

Henderson's Highland Park Funeral Home

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


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