Ruth M. Taylor, 90: Author of books on the paranormal

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Ruth Elaine Mattson Taylor, 90, formerly of South Portland, died Aug. 5 at her residence.

She was born in St. James, Minn., on Oct. 14, 1922, a daughter of Alvin D. and Freda A. Mattson.

When she was 5 years old, her family moved to West Haven, Conn., and later to East Orange, N.J., and to Rock Island, Ill. She attended schools there, graduating from Rock Island High School in 1939, and from Augustana College in 1943, earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology and chemistry.

While still in college, Tayloy trained as a spectrochemist at the Rock Island Arsenal’s metallurgical laboratory under Charles Guettel, a pioneer of the field. She was later employed by the Caterpillar Tractor Company in Peoria, Ill., and founded a spectrochemical laboratory in the company’s metallurgical department.

A few years later, she left Caterpillar to pursue graduate studies in industrial psychology at the University of Wisconsin. In 1948, she married Harold V. Taylor, a network producer for ABC in Chicago, and moved to Evanston, Ill. There, she continued her graduate studies at Northwestern University, earning her master of science degree in industrial psychology in 1949.

Her son Bruce M. Taylor was born in 1950, and daughter Lynne I. Taylor in 1952. In 1956 the Taylors moved to Scarsdale, N.Y.

Taylor soon drew on her training in industrial psychology to establish an advertising management business. For over 40 years, she served as advertising director for many denominational and interfaith publications.

Following in the footsteps of her father, who was faculty member of Augustana Seminary, she developed an interest in spirituality and the paranormal and published two books on the subject – “Witness from Beyond” and “Evidence from Beyond.”

Residents of South Portland since 1980, the Taylors were members of St. Ansgar Lutheran Church in Portland, where Ruth was a member of the choir and served on the Church Council. After the death of her husband, she provided transportation to Sunday services for an elderly friend who was a member of First Congregational Church in South Portland. In 1991 Taylor became a member of that church community.

She was predeceased by her husband, Harold V. Taylor, who died in 1989; her mother, Freda Anderson Mattson, who died in 1960; her father, A.D. Mattson, who died in 1970; and, her only brother, Alvin D. Mattson Jr., who died in 1971.

She is survived by her son, Bruce M. Taylor, of Woodbridge, Va.; her daughter, Lynne I. Taylor, of Marysville, Wash.; her granddaughter, Sarah E. Taylor, of Burlington, Vt.; her grandson, Eric T. Taylor, of Woodbridge, Va.; and many other dear relatives and friends.

Services were held Monday at the First Congregational Church in South Portland.

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