August 7, 2023
Surrounded by her beloved family, Leigh Ann Steinbarger Taylor, 56, Oldsmar, FL passed away peacefully Monday evening, August 7, 2023 in her family’s home in Hamburg, NY.
Leigh was born in Watertown, NY on March 28, 1967, the fourth of six children born to Vernon and Alice (Blair) Taylor. She attended both Holy Family and Immaculate Heart Central High Schools.
Leigh finally settled in Oldsmar, Florida after spending a few years in Watertown. She was an exceptional and creative chef and worked in the restaurant industry her entire life. She was a dedicated employee of over 20 years at Pickle's Restaurant, Clearwater, FL. When she wasn’t working, she was cooking for loved ones. She even taught some of her recipes and tricks to a few lucky nieces and nephews along the way.
Leigh was an avid reader, and she was definitely Stephen King’s Number 1 fan. She was an amazing singer and enjoyed all things that rocked. However, her dream had always been to be the drummer. Her anthem may just be “for those about to rock, we salute you.” Her younger sisters have vivid memories of always being her backup singers growing up and brought back the “magic power of the music in Leigh” during the impromptu concerts performed with her nightly in her last weeks. It was during these times that the “Lan” we knew as kids surfaced for a few precious moments at a time.
She was an avid Buffalo Bills fan, and living in Florida with her Tampa Bay Buccaneers-loving cousins always brought out an endearing rivalry among them.
Along with her mother, Alice Taylor, Leigh is survived (and greatly missed) by her five siblings Sheela Marie and her companion Timothy Canaan of Watertown, Kelly Cook of Oldsmar, FL, Greg Taylor of Durango, CO, Julie Santoro of Hamburg, NY, and Michelle Lammers of Fairbanks, AK. She had very special family members in South Carolina who were always close to her heart. She had a large extended family, and was preceded in death by her father, Vernon, her grandparents, and many aunts and uncles. Those that remain here include Aunt Katherine of Watertown, 14 nieces and nephews, 14 grandnieces and nephews, and many cousins, including many Florida angels who helped her along the way…Trevor, Laura, and Linda…the rest of you know who you are!
What made Leigh so very special to all who knew her? “She was the most giving, absolutely kindest person I ever met. She would give the shirt off her back for anyone who needed it, whether she could afford the shirt or not.” She’s remembered for her kind and gentle voice and her laugh! She always just went with the flow and was just a genuine person.
Leigh was a beautiful person inside and out. When you walked in the room, her face would light up and you could see she was sincerely so happy to see you. You knew how special you were to her. All her nieces and nephews were always so excited to see Aunt Leigh Leigh. She was always up for making eggs at any time, late night talks, and gave the “best hugs, they were always so warm and welcoming and she never let go first.”
She was fiercely independent to the point of being stubborn and very very brave. These characteristics helped her survive these last 4 years as she battled her disease. She refused to give up no matter what she faced, right until the end.
Her funeral mass will be celebrated on Saturday, August 12, at Holy Family Church at noon, followed by burial in Glenwood Cemetery. Feel free to honor Leigh’s love of music by wearing your favorite band t shirt! Arrangements are entrusted with Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown. Online condolences to her family may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com.
Leigh was passionate about helping children who are reported missing, always looking to reunite loved ones with their families. In lieu of flowers, donations in Leigh Ann's name may be made to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Attn. DEV, 333 John Carlyle St., Suite 125, Alexandria, VA 22314.