Geneva Taylor, former chair of Routt County Republicans, wife of late state senator, dies after cancer battle
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County native and active community member Geneva Taylor died Thursday at a hospice facility in Steamboat Springs after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 79.
Taylor worked as a banker in Steamboat for over four decades, starting at the former Routt County National Bank.
“She helped a lot of people with loans,” said friend Kathi Meyer, a member of the Steamboat Springs City Council.
After her retirement, Taylor focused on philanthropic work, having joined several local boards and service organizations. She was an active local Rotarian, an assistant secretary and treasurer for the board of directors of the Routt County Foundation for Senior Citizens and had served on the board of directors for the UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation since 2007. She was honored many times over the years for her dedication to the community, and was notably a recipient of the prestigious Hazie Werner Award.
“Geneva was an amazing advocate of our hospital and foundation. She was passionate about access to the superior health care that Yampa Valley Medical Center provides in Northwest Colorado,” said Karen Schneider, executive director of UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation. “Geneva was instrumental in orchestrating several large gifts to the hospital. While on the foundation board, she was a wise sage during any difficult discussion.
“Using the words of Jim Moylan, a fellow Rotarian and foundation board member, ‘She defined graciousness and class.’”
An active member of Concordia Lutheran Church in Steamboat, Taylor had helped establish their community bible study program.
“Geneva’s faith in God was her compass, and she always strived to do the right thing,” Schneider said.
Taylor was raised on a ranch in Toponas, south of Yampa in Routt County. She graduated from business school in Denver then started her career back in Steamboat. She married Sen. John “Jack” Taylor in 1973 and the two had one daughter, Vicki.
She had received her cancer diagnosis in February, according to Meyer.
Sen. Taylor died in April from COVID-19-related complications while at Casey’s Pond in Steamboat. He had served as a representative from Steamboat Springs in the Colorado House of Representatives for eight years and spent eight years as a state senator.
“They were a great team,” Meyer said. “Some say if it wasn’t for Geneva’s strength behind Jack, he wouldn’t have gone as far as he did in politics. And vice versa … to do the things she did in life.
“They’re definitely two community leaders. They complemented each other and were very strong supporters of the community.”
Taylor, like her husband, was involved in local and state politics, having chaired various Republican campaigns together. Both also served as chairperson of the Routt County Republicans, with Taylor serving in that role up until early 2019.
“I had the honor of working with Geneva since joining the Routt County Republicans a year ago. She was a leader with a clear vision and decisive action as the committee chair,” said Pete Wood, current chairperson of Routt County Republicans. “Her commitment to the Republican Party in Routt County was unmatched, especially as she cared for her ailing husband, Sen. Jack Taylor, who passed away in the spring; and as she battled her own illness.
“Her strength and commitment to America’s freedom and prosperity are to be emulated.”
Taylor is survived by her daughter, Vicki Bushner, and grandchildren Brianna Klamer and Dakin Bushner.
To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email bmartin@SteamboatPilot.com.
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