Irene C. Taylor, 86, of Newcastle, died at her home the evening of Jan. 19, 2010. Born May 17, 1923, in Canada, she was the daughter of John and Christine (Labelle) Clair.

Irene grew up in Canada, attending local schools there. She met her husband, the late Colin M. Taylor, while he was on a business trip to Canada. The couple fell in love, got married and moved to Newcastle in 1947. They purchased a house in Newcastle, and Irene would call that house home for the next 63 years.

Her husband was a veteran of World War I, where he was a sergeant in the U.S. Army. While in the war, he fought his way through Belgium and France and was offered a Purple Heart, which he turned down. In his later years, he became bed ridden and Irene took great care of him, hardly leaving his side until he passed at their Newcastle home in 1988.

Irene loved nature, and especially enjoyed tending to her flower garden. She loved feeding birds and did so often right out of the palms of her hands.

Irene was very artistic, and for many years she carved dolls out of wood, a hobby that turned into a business and got her featured in

Down East magazine in 1977. Her first doll was for her younger sister but soon she found herself making more. Pictures of her dolls made their way around the country and now her dolls can be found in most of the 50 states and in several foreign countries. At one time, she was even approached by the Smithsonian Institution to purchase some of her creations for their permanent collection.

She was predeceased by her husband, Colin, in 1988 as well as two brothers and one sister.

She is survived by her two sons, John Taylor and his longtime companion, Suzanna Smith, and James Taylor, both of Newcastle; three grandchildren, Daniel Taylor, Theresa Taylor and Crystal James; two great-grandchildren, Antonio John Robert Giacomuzzi and Gabrielle Griffin; two sisters, Margaret Adjutant and Inez Duross; as well as her caregiver of the last several years, Peggy Bailey and the caring people of Miles Home Health, whom the family would like to thank.

A time of visitation will be held at the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St. in Damariscotta, on Sunday, Jan. 24 from noon to 1 p.m. with a service to follow at 1 p.m. She will be laid to rest with her husband at the Maine Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lincoln County Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 7, Edgecomb, ME 04556.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home in Damariscotta. Condolences for the family may be expressed by visiting stronghancock.com.