Berlin Resident Bequeaths $50,000.00 to Atlantic General Hospital
Doris Taylor, a prominent member of the Berlin community, has bequeathed
$50,000.00 to Atlantic General Hospital. According to her personal representative,
former employee and life-long friend Christine Rayne, the hospital had
always been very important to Taylor.
Taylor took several trips across the bay to express the need for a hospital
in Worcester County at the state’s hearings more than thirteen years ago.
“She talked everywhere she went about Atlantic General Hospital,”
said Rayne. “She was very supportive.”
Taylor supported many causes throughout her life. Economic development,
women’s issues, the humane treatment of cats, and the preservation
of history were all concerns.
In 1952, she was a charter president for the Berlin/Ocean City Soroptimist
Club. A love of cats led to an active involvement in the Worcester County
She was a member of the Woman’s Club of Ocean City for more than
25 years and sat on the Board of Directors of the Taylor Museum for several years.
Taylor’s independence and vitality and her varied interests made
her well-known to the small Eastern Shore community. She was an avid bridge
player, who once had a perfect no-trump hand that was written about in
newspapers across the country.
But she was also a life-long member of the Sinepuxent Rod and Gun Club,
which her husband, T.K. Taylor, co-founded. Doris was a petite woman,
but she loved to shoot for sport. Her husband built a special rifle with
a shortened stock to fit her small frame, and she was known to outshoot
many a man.
Taylor had strong roots from which to grow in the Berlin and Ocean City
communities. She was the daughter of Mary Fairbank Benson, a gifted amateur
painter, and E. H. Benson, a jeweler. The family moved to Berlin from
St. Michaels, Md. in 1906 and opened Benson’s Jewelers in downtown
Berlin. They also owned the Benson Hotel on 9th Street and Baltimore Avenue
in Ocean City.
Doris married T.K. Taylor who was also a jeweler in 1922, and the couple
eventually took over her parents’ jewelry store, relocating it across
town with the new name of the Treasure Chest. Around the same time, they
opened an additional store inside the Benson Hotel.
The Taylors were civic-minded businesspeople, but they were also social
creatures. Rayne, who worked at the Treasure Chest for ten years, talks
of the days when all stores were closed on Wednesdays and Sundays. The
Taylors would invite all their friends for outings on The Doris, their
42-foot cabin boat, on those days.
“She was a special person,” said Rayne, “[She and her
husband] enjoyed life, and they involved everyone around them.”
Doris maintained her youth and independence into her later years and stayed
very active even after her husband’s death in 1978. She drove until
she was 93 and lived on her own until she was 99, only entering the Berlin
Nursing Home a few months before her death in September 2004.