The Taylor Family: Growing Up in Greeley
Story by Hannah Fields
Rachel Taylor has lived in Greeley since she was three years old. A military brat, she lived with her parents, Diane and Hollis, in Munich, Germany. They had met while living in Germany; Diane was an opera singer at the time while Hollis had been stationed there with the U.S. Army. The two both came from St. Louis (although from different parts) but had never crossed paths until a family member suggested that they meet up since they lived in the same area again! In 1994, their family moved to the Weber West neighborhood in Greeley after Diane got a hot tip from a friend about an opening at UNC for a professor of Music and Voice. She went on to become the Head of the Voice Department before her retirement in 2018. Following his retirement from the military in the early 2000s, Hollis pursued a career at the Greeley Post Office, finally retiring in 2018 alongside Diane. Says Rachel, “He got to know the neighborhood through that. They all know Hollis and it really made me smile that they appreciated him. I used to love Christmas time because I knew people would drop off cookies, candies and other goodies.”
Meanwhile, Rachel started school at S. Christa McAuliffe STEM Academy before eventually graduating from University High School. She attended UNC, studying Criminal Justice and Journalism, with a minor in sociology. During her junior year, she even had the chance to study abroad in Australia! Rachel graduated in 2014, and after an internship in Illinois, started work at 9News in Denver, where she’s still employed. In 2016 she also welcomed a daughter, Deja, who brings much joy to the family.
“She is full of life and loves to laugh. She is always keeping the house really exciting,” Rachel shares. “She loves to dance and spend time with her little friends. She knows all the characters to Paw Patrol and other kids programming. She is adventurous and loves to try new things. Chicken nuggets are her favorite food. She would probably turn into one if she could!” Deja, now five years old, is currently in pre-kindergarten.
When she's not learning her numbers and letters, Deja is a huge fan of The Playground at the Greeley Mall and loves to play at Bittersweet Park. The family also tries to take family trips at least once a year, most recently they spent a weekend camping up in the mountains. At home, they enjoy going to church, playing games, and being together. There's another member of the family as well- their seven-year-old cat Adelaide. Adelaide joined the family while Rachel was interning in Illinois. According to Rachel, “she really only likes me, she tolerates the rest of the household.”
The family attends First Congregational church in Greeley, which Rachel credits with giving her the sense of community that she has grown to love. “Going to church, you get to meet many different people, and it’s nice to have that,” she explains. She also says that living with her parents provides her with the support system she needs to provide that feeling to her own daughter. Since Rachel works in Denver, she often does not get home until after Deja’s already asleep and knowing her parents are there to help with the routine and make Deja feel secure is a wonderful feeling. It’s also a great chance for Deja to grow up with strong family bonds in addition to the community bonds!
The family has been living in Weber West for twenty-eight years and have enjoyed every minute of it. “I love our neighbors! Everyone is willing to help each other and most of us don’t go past each other without waving,” says Rachel. “We have come across a blot of new neighbors, and all have been great. I have gotten to know other parent in the neighborhood and it’s nice that our kids play together.”
She’s got a unique perspective on the neighborhood as well, having grown up in the same place where she's now raising her own child. “It’s cool to have her grow up where I grew up,” Rachel says. She loves sharing her favorite places and memories with Deja and says the child friendly community events in Greeley are a huge part of that.
“Community is the best part of living here.”