Cover photo for Cleo Hancock Taylor's Obituary
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1923 Cleo 2014

Cleo Hancock Taylor

March 12, 1923 — May 13, 2014

Cleo Sarabell Hancock Taylor, 91, completed her life journey on 13 May 2014.  She was born in Whitesburg, Kentucky on 12 March 1923 to Henry Edison and Jane Phillips Adams.            Because her father had suffered with infantile paralysis as a young boy and was left crippled in one leg, it was difficult for him to find work in Kentucky.  At that time, the main job opportunities in Kentucky were in farming, mining and moonshine.  So, when Cleo was 6 months old, they loaded their vintage Ford, and the family of six headed south, camping along the roadway, eventually settling in Fort Meade, Florida.  Mr. Adams found a place for them to live, and work in plumbing and carpentry.  He always kept a large garden where he grew vegetables, including the corn that he ground into grits to subsidize the family budget.  Five cents or a dime could buy many goods in those days, but there were very few nickels and dimes.  In her later childhood, Cleo and her younger brother Carl would sell some of the grits to neighbors for three cents a pound.  They also sold subscriptions to “Grit”, a periodic newspaper in the area, while pulling their wagon along a three mile route.  The Adams family grew in numbers and weathered the Depression years in Fort Meade.  They enjoyed some of the simple pleasures of country life, community and church where love was abundant and children’s play utilized much imagination.  In 1935, her father was able to purchase a radio, which opened a whole new world for the family.      Cleo finished her schooling and began her new life as she married a local man, Judson Hancock in 1939.  In 1940, after their first child William was born, they moved to Tampa for a brighter future.  Judson opened a radio shop and Cleo was a loving mother and homemaker.  In 1942, after their second child Bertie Sue was born, they made their home in North Tampa.  In the early 1950s, when the children were older, Cleo found a job in bookkeeping for Western Auto.  Judson sold the radio shop and joined an older brother in auto parts sales.  Both children married in the late 1950s, and eventually, Cleo became the grandmother of six.      Judson passed away in 1966. Cleo was alone for several years before she found and married the love of her life, Robert Taylor and gained the love of his daughter and family.  Cleo and Bob were very happy for a few years and planned for their retirement together.  They purchased forty acres in Wesley Chapel, Florida in 1975, which was Bob’s dream.  He began clearing the land for their home and pasture.  However, in 1978, as they were setting their retirement date, Bob suddenly passed away while working in the field on his beloved forty acres.  After a period of mourning, Cleo decided to stay on the land and keep Bob’s dream alive.  She retired from Western Auto in 1979 after 25 years, and went home to garden, raise a few head of cattle and enjoy the wildlife with turkeys, deer and a few alligators.  Her favorite pastimes were crocheting and reading.  Her greatest pleasures were her family, especially the grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Her descendents enjoyed many happy times on the small farm as children, and in later years while hunting and at gatherings with the families.  She remained on the farm until she was 88 years old.        Cleo was predeceased by her parents Henry and Jane Adams; husbands, Judson Hancock and Robert Taylor; children, William Hancock and Bertie Sue Capley; one great-grandchild, Brandon Capley; three sisters, Stella Woods, Mable Jackson, Ruth Harden; two brothers, Arnold and Carl Adams.  She is survived by her sister Mary Lewis and brothers, James and Gayle Adams; 8 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; son-in-law and two daughters-in-law; one step-daughter; several step-grandchildren, step-great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.      Her final resting place will be between her husbands in the Hancock Family Cemetery in Fort Meade, Florida on 17 May 2014 at 10:30 AM with a graveside service.  In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Hancock Cemetery, your local hospice organization or your favorite charity would please Cleo.
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