Ann Taylor, 1910-2007
Ann Bonfoey Taylor, an early resident of Vail, died peacefully at her Denver home on Sunday, surrounded by loving family members. She was 96.
Born Dec. 3, 1910, in Ardmore, Pa., and raised in Quincy, Ill, Ann exhibited an early passion when as a 6-year-old her father introduced her to flying in open two-seater bi-planes. When she was 12, her father hired a pilot to teach Ann to fly, and despite the then all-male atmosphere of the age and a resentful teacher, Ann learned to fly and loved it.
She married to James Cooke in 1928. They had two children, Diane and Jay. Early in their marriage, Ann’s expertise at tennis led her to competing at Wimbledon.
Ann moved to Vermont after marrying. Ever the sportswoman, she started ski racing in Stowe, acquiring the nickname “Nosedive Annie.” She became an alternate in 1939 on the Women’s Olympic Ski Team. She kept skiing until the late 1980s.
Ann’s marriage to James ended. She then turned to civil engineering and the study of flying, leading to the pursuit of a pilot’s license. When World War II broke out, she became a flight instructor for flight students, which included Navy and Army pilots.
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After the end of the war, Ann returned to Stowe where a great sense of style led her to design her own ski clothing, which became very popular. Very shortly her clothing appeared on the covers of Harper’s Bazaar and other magazines, and in the Fifth Avenue windows of Lord and Taylor, as well as other prominent Fifth Avenue retailers.
In l947, after a whirlwind courtship, Ann married Vernon “Moose” Taylor Jr., of Indiana, Pa., and San Antonio, Texas. Ann realized her new-found success would have practical limits and decided to give up her new career to become a full-time wife and mother.
In l954 Ann and Moose moved to Denver where they raised their family. It was in Denver that Ann developed a passion for horses and become an expert in dressage, hunting and jumping, which she and Moose engaged in not only in Denver, but also in Middleburg, Va., and Leicestershire, England, riding into their late 80s.
Moose, even in their earliest courtship, said he wanted to build a ski house with Ann. In l963, as one of the founders of Vail, they built one of the first ski chalets in the new town ” where they thrived skiing with family and friends over 40 years.
In addition to Vail, Ann and Moose had a cattle ranch in Montana where they held their annual Fourth of July get-together for family and friends from around the world for many years.
Ann also served on the advisory board of the American Associates of the Royal Academy Trust and the World Wildlife Fund.
Ann was preceded in death by her daughter, Diane Cooke, and grandson Ryan Taylor.
She is survived by her loving husband and her children, Jay Cooke (Gail) of New York City, Vernon Taylor III (Naomi Marks) of Long Island, Douglas Taylor (Monica) of New York City, Robert Taylor (Joni) of Vail, and Craig Taylor (Michelle) of Santa Barbara, Calif.; and eleven grandchildren.
A private service is being held for family members. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the American Associates of the Royal Academy Trust, 555 Madison Ave., Ste. 1300, New York, NY 10022, or a charity of choice.