Biography: Thelma Francine Stokely Taylor departed this life on Monday, April 8, 2019, at Harlem Hospital in Manhattan (Harlem), New York. She spent the majority of her childhood and adult years in Harlem. Francine loved the Lord and often attended Union Baptist Church in Harlem. Through her years of illness, she did not complain but placed her trust in the hands of the Lord. Her daily quiet moments in prayer were her sustenance.
Francine was born July 26, 1950, in Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, North Carolina. Her parents were Johnnie and China Slade Stokely. At a very young age, her family moved to New York City where she attended Catholic and public schools. During high school, she met her future husband, John Taylor, Jr. The couple married in 1972 and had two children.
She was a graduate of Talladega College (Talladega, Alabama), an HBCU (historically black colleges and universities), where she earned a Bachelor's degree in education. She also earned a Master's degree in education at Fordham University in New York City and completed many courses towards a doctoral degree. A highlight of her education career was teaching at the Presbyterian College in Akropong, Ghana. For many years she continued in a relationship with her former Ghanaian students. She was formerly an active member of the Manhattan Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and the American Association of College and University Women. For a period of time, Francine was Coordinator of an after-school tutorial program (Gastonia, NC) for homeless students. A major activity of her life was her master level knitting and crocheting. She loved crafting knit and crochet items for her grandchildren and other family members.
Francine was predeceased by her parents and husband. She leaves to mourn - her children: Sekou Toure Taylor (Patricia), Corona, Ca. and Aisha Taylor Hunt (Rahsaan), New York, NY; Grandchildren: Anton, Sekou, Toure, Imari; Great grandchildren: Aulani. Siblings: Johnnie Steven Stokely (Roberta), Lees Summit, Mo.; Gale Stokely Brewer, Durham, NC; Katrina Bowser Burke (Bristow, Va.); Michael Bowser (Denise), Upper Marlboro, Md.; Vincent Harper (Eldred), Chesapeake, Va.; and, Sharlene Bowser Overton (Elizabeth City, NC); many cousins, nieces, and nephews; and her very close friend Nia Lattimore Mawanga (Nairobi, Kenya).