Pryor, Mary Taylor

Pryor, Mary Taylor

Female 1927 - 2014  (87 years)

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  • Name Pryor, Mary Taylor 
    Nickname Tay 
    Born 16 Jul 1927  [1
    Gender Female 
    Died 17 Oct 2014  Anchorage, Alaska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Person ID I46919  Sackett
    Last Modified 16 Jan 2018 

    Father Pryor, Samuel Frazier Jr.,   d. Unknown 
    Mother Allderdice, Mary Taylor,   d. Unknown 
    +1. Pryor, Mary Taylor,   b. 16 Jul 1927,   d. 17 Oct 2014, Anchorage, Alaska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)
    Family ID F17371  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Thomas, Lowell Jackson Jr.,   b. 6 Oct 1923, London, England, UK Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Oct 2016, Anchorage, Alaska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years) 
    Married 1950 
    +1. Living
    +2. Living
    Last Modified 16 Jan 2018 
    Family ID F17364  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsDied - 17 Oct 2014 - Anchorage, Alaska, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend Address Cemetery Street/Feature Village/Neighborhood/Community Township/Parish City County/Shire State/Province Country Region Not Set

  • Photos
    Mary Taylor Prior (1927-2014)
    Mary Taylor Prior (1927-2014)

  • Sources 
    1. [S1225] (Reliability: 3), 16 Jan 2018.
      Mary Taylor Thomas

      Alaska Dispatch News (Anchorage, AK) - Tuesday, October 21, 2014
      Tay Thomas, author, philanthropist, and mentor to many Alaskans, dies at 87. Mary Taylor (Tay) Pryor Thomas who traveled the world with her husband Lowell Thomas Jr., the fifth lieutenant governor or Alaska, and wrote extensively on Alaskan life died peacefully at age 87, surrounded by family and dear friends, at her home in Anchorage, Alaska, on Friday, October 17, 2014. Tay was born on July 16, 1927 to Mary Taylor Allderdice and Samuel Frazier Pryor Jr. She grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, the oldest of a family of five children who travelled extensively around the world while Sam Pryor was a vice president of Pan American Airlines. Tay graduated from Smith College in 1949. A year later she married Lowell Thomas, Jr., a fellow world traveller; in 1954 they flew their Cessna 180 from France through Africa, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their trip inspired a book, Our Flight to Adventure, and several National Geographic articles. In 1958 they flew the same Cessna from the East coast to Alaska, and Tay wrote the book Follow the North Star about their trip around the soon-to-be 49th state. They moved to Anchorage in 1960 with their two children and have been residents ever since. Tay served and inspired others all of her life. Soon after arriving in Anchorage, she was a founding member of F.I.S.H. (Fellowship in Serving Humanity), then a two-term Anchorage School Board member, a board member of the YWCA, and along with her husband Lowell, a supporter of the Alaska Conservation Society, and the Anchorage Museum. Most of all, Tay loved her church, St. Mary';s Episcopal Church, where she and Lowell have worshipped and sung in the choir since the early 1960s. Church rector Michael Burke refers to Tay as ";the secret Mary of St. Mary';s,"; for all the teaching and mentoring and nurturing of others that Tay has done quietly over the years. Tay worked alongside her husband for decades of public service in Alaska. Her political interest was sparked when, at twelve years old, she accompanied her father to the 1940 Republican presidential convention. Sam Pryor was the chairman of the Connecticut Republican party and was credited as being the man who managed to get Wendell Wilkie the nomination in one of the most exciting conventions in history. Tay went on to help run the campaign that elected Jay Hammond governor of Alaska in 1974, with her husband Lowell running on the ticket as Lieutenant Governor. In recent years she has worked tirelessly to support public servants working to protect the environment and helping the disadvantaged. Beloved daughter, wife, sister, mother - Tay is survived by Lowell, her husband of 64 years of marriage; by her brothers, Taylor Allderdice (Tap) Pryor and Lawrence Pryor; and her sister, Frances Pryor Haws. Tay';s brother, Sam Pryor III, preceded her in death by only several hours in a hospital in Westchester County, New York. She is survived by her daughter, Anne Thomas Donaghy; and her son, David Lowell Thomas; and by five granddaughters, Mary Taylor Donaghy Stephens, Lucy Donaghy, Ellen Thomas Powers, Louise Thomas Gregory and Molly Thomas; and four great-grandchildren; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins; and her cat, Jack. A celebration of Tay';s remarkable life will be held at St. Mary';s Episcopal Church in Anchorage, Alaska on Monday, October 27 at 4pm. Memorial donations in Tay';s name can be made to Emily';s List: (please enter the name Tay Thomas in the ";honor someone with your contribution"; box) checks may be mailed to: EMILY';s List, Attention: Kristin White, 1800 M Street NW, Suite 375N, Washington, DC 20036 [Please write ";in honor of Tay Thomas"; in the check memo].

      Alaska Dispatch News (Anchorage, AK) - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

      Alaska Dispatch News () , obit for Mary Taylor Thomas, ( : accessed 16 January 2018)

      Researched by Ted Smith

    2. [S1865] Alaska Women's Hall of Fame. (Reliability: 3), 16 Jan 2018.
      Author of eight books and many articles. Married Lowell Thomas Jr. in 1950. Moved to Alaska in 1960. Served two terms on Anchorage School Board.

      Researched by Ted Smith

    3. [S1866] Alaska Pacific University (Reliability: 3), 16 Jan 2018.
      Alaska Pacific University Bids Farewell to Long-Time Friend and Supporter, Mary Taylor Thomas.

      31 Oct 2014

      Alaska Pacific University joins Alaskans in bidding farewell to the extraordinary Mary Taylor ?Tay? Thomas, who died on October 17th at the age of 87. Tay was a journalist and the author of eight books, including Our Flight to Adventure, which chronicled the experience that she and her husband, the author, bush pilot and adventurer, Lowell Thomas Jr., shared in 1954-1955 when they took off from France in their Cessna 180 and made aviation history as the first single engine private plane to fly across Africa, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan. It was this same, shared spirit of adventure that brought the couple to Alaska with their two children, Anne and David, in 1960, and it defined their sixty-four years together.

      Tay Thomas was known in Anchorage and throughout the state for founding the food distribution agency, Fellowship in Serving Humanity (F.I.S.H.), her two terms on the Anchorage school board, her membership on the board of the Anchorage YWCA, and, along with husband Lowell, her philanthropic support of the Anchorage Museum, the Conservation Society, Alaska Pacific University, Saint Mary?s Episcopal Church and many other organizations and causes. Taken together, they reveal something of the depth of her belief in, and practice of, service to the community. Along with their spirit of adventure, public service was something that defined her partnership with Lowell, who campaigned alongside Jay Hammond in 1974 and became Alaska?s fifth Lieutenant Governor.

      In gratitude for their generous support of our Nordic ski programs over the years, Alaska Pacific University named the training facility on Eagle Glacier ?The Thomas Training Center.? At 5,000 feet in the Chugach Mountains southeast of Anchorage, Eagle Glacier is the summer training site for APU Nordic skiers and it has been the key to their international success.

      Tay Thomas devoted her life and considerable energy to the service of others and this, along with a fundamental kindness that was at the very center of her being, are the things for which Tay Thomas was truly known and loved and for which she will be remembered and missed. With her passing, Alaska Pacific University has lost a great good friend. All of us at Alaska Pacific University wish to express our condolences to her husband, Lowell Thomas Jr., and to her family.

      Researched by Ted Smith

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