Having survived a rough upbringing, Elizabeth Taylor of Healdsburg was determined to do right by her own daughters.
She enrolled the two girls in ballroom dancing and ballet, organized their birthday parties and made their Halloween costumes. A single mother, Taylor provided for the family running her own small business.
"She was a good mom. It was a struggle, but she provided for them," said Yvonne Schell of Healdsburg, a friend of Taylor's and for a time her employer.
Taylor died of natural causes Nov. 28 at her Healdsburg home. She was 55.
Elizabeth Cooper was born Jan. 3, 1958, in Long Beach to Milton and Pearl Cooper.
She earned an undergraduate degree in behavioral psychology from UC San Diego and a master's in accounting from Golden Gate University in Seattle.
Taylor lived in Florida until a divorce and a hurricane prompted her to move to California. She settled in Healdsburg in 1993, thinking it a good place to raise the girls, Schell said.
Schell described her friend as having a keen sense of humor, an acerbic wit and a "dead on" Irish brogue. She said Taylor also had a huge heart and was particularly drawn to helping animals.
"She'd be in trouble every time she went to the shelter," Schell said.
Taylor was the proprietor of her own company providing bookkeeping, payroll and tax services to clients.