Cover photo for R.E. "Reda" Troutman Taylor's Obituary
R.E. "Reda" Troutman Taylor Profile Photo
1923 R.E. "Reda" 2020

R.E. "Reda" Troutman Taylor

December 11, 1923 — October 8, 2020

Reda E. Taylor, 96, of Batesburg was born December 11, 1923 in Saluda County in the county between Batesburg and Saluda to Reda and Eugene Troutman. “Miss R.E., as she is fondly known to many, lived on a farm growing up. Her father was a tenant farmer and her family lived in a tenant house.
Some of her earliest memories are of climbing fruit trees and eating plums or apples, or whatever happened to be in season at the time. She was a frail child having suffered from colitis, an illness doctors did not know how to treat in that day and time. The family had already lost one child, a little boy, to the disease when he was about 22 months old. Fortunately, R.E. was stronger, though her health was delicate for a long time.
She and her sister, D.C. worked in the fields alongside her parents. Her father would pay her a penny a pound for all the cotton she could pick. She was the only one of the two children that he paid. The grownups carried croaker sacks to put their cotton in; an R.E. had her own little salt or sugar sack. When the bags were full, they were emptied out and the cotton was weighed. When her mother emptied her bag, she would throw a handful of cotton on R.E.’s pile.
On one particular day, R.E. had 11 pounds of cotton in her pile. When her father weighed it, she stood with her hands clamped together, watching the shiny pennies fall into them. Then, still standing in the same spot, looking up, and the “pea” weigh that was used to weigh the cotton fell and hit her in the head when her father removed what she had picked. She fell backwards spilling her precious pennies into the cracks of the wooden platform holding the scales. She never got her pennies back, though she felt her father had retrieved them. Pennies were too precious to waste.
R.E. wasn’t able to start school on time because of her health. When she was about eight or nine, the family moved to town and moved in with her Uncle Henry and her Aunt Eugenia Troutman. The family was given two rooms in their house to live in. Located on Bates Street it had a big porch that went half way around the house. (The house has been demolished within the last several years.) It was during this time her brother, Gene, was born.
Her daddy had been gassed during WWI. Because if this, he suffered from severe asthma and was hospitalized many times for it. Her mother became ill with high blood pressure. R.E. was 11 or 12 years old when her family moved into the house where she now lives. “Daddy was still in the V.A. Hospital when we moved here around 1935,” she said. The house was 150 years old at that time. “It’s made out of good stuff.” Two rooms had beaded board walls while the others were just plain boards until she and D.C. put up paneling.
“D.C. went to work for Dr. Taylor. She didn’t make much, but every little bit helped. We had to walk wherever we went unless some kind person helped carry us somewhere,” she said. “Aunt” Rama and “Uncle” Asa Mills happened to be two of these kind people and took the family to see R.E.’s dad at the V.A. Hospital in Columbia many times. When R.E. graduated, students only had to attend school for 11 years to get a diploma. Shortly after graduation, she married Fragle S. Taylor who had been stationed overseas during WWII while she finished school. “I was wearing a ring the last year of school.” she said. She went to work at Belk’s part-time. When her baby, Glenn, was born in 1947, she went to work at Dodd’s Dime Store. She was a sales girl for two years and a manager for seven. But she knew Glenn had to go to college and she had to make more money. She got a job at G.E. in Irmo. “The first morning I had to be there at 9 a.m. The fog was so thick; I had to watch the line in the road while I was driving. That was when there was a hole in the dam big enough that a man could stand in it.” She worked at G.E. for 29 years during which it was sold three times. After she retired, the plant went out of business. She told someone that they couldn’t run it without her.
While Glenn was in high school, he played drums with The Expeditions. They played at the Civic Auditorium in town and it was broadcast over the radio on WBLR. On one particular night, Glenn asked R.E. and D.C. not to come watch the group play, but to listen to it over the radio. During the performance it was announced the group had a surprise for the audience that Glenn was going to sing “Together Again.” “The crowd roared when they heard that! We didn’t know Glenn could sing, he never sang in front of us.” Miss R.E. said. “He was my little everything.” After graduating from Carolina, Glenn worked in accounting. R.E. was told he was the most accurate person that had ever worked at a particular store in Saluda. Julius Garber shared with his aunt; D.C. that Glenn was the most dedicated person to his work that he had ever seen.
For Christmas one year R.E. gave Glenn a snare drum for his set. Later on, when he was so sick, Glenn told her he knew she had given up a whole lot and did without to make sure he had the things he needed. But, he added, “You ain’t never give me nothing like that snare drum.” That meant more to him than anything else. Glenn died of congestive heart failure at the age of 28.
Miss R.E. loves her church, East Side Baptist in Batesburg. She has been very active from the very first service held January 6, 1946. She spent many years in the nursery and with preschoolers and beginners during Sunday school taking care of the smaller children. In later years she was in charge of the children’s sermon during the church service. She enjoys crafting and butterflies are a passion of hers.
One of R.E.’s many talents includes playing the role of Minnie Pearl, a comedian with the Grand Ole Opry. Minnie Pearl was an icon herself with her dime store hats and Mary Jane shoes and R.E. can play her to the hilt. She began imitating her after having heard her on the radio and started performing her act in 1943 at high school “I’ve being doing it ever since. D.C. made my first Minnie Pearl dress for me when I was in school. I had my hat with the flowers and the price tag on it. I wish I knew how many times I had done it, but I have no idea.” R.E. played Minnie Pearl at church functions often, much to the delight of her audiences. She always opened with that famous Minnie Pearl line, “HOWDY!” I’m just so proud to be here!”

Graveside service will be held on Monday, October 12, 2020 at Ridge Crest Memorial Park with Rev. Robert Culbertson and Rev. Mitch Bruner officiating. Pallbearers are Tim Shealy, Mickey Matthews, James "Snookie" Warren, Randal Warren, John Wayne Shealy and John Salter. Honorary pallbearers are Adult Ladies & Men's Sunday school class.
Visitation will be held after the service at graveside.

To send flowers to the family in memory of R.E. "Reda" Troutman Taylor, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Monday, October 12, 2020

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Conducted by Reverend Robert Culbertson and Reverend Mitch Bruner. Visitation will be held after the service at graveside.

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