The Mountaineer

May 11, 2022

WAYNESVILLE — Norretta Lovvorn Taylor, passed away suddenly after a short illness on Friday, May 6, 2022, at the age of 84 after living a full and beautiful life filled with love, travel, treasured pets, music, and a fabulous collection of friends who will miss her enormously.

Norretta was given this unique name on December 7, 1937, by her parents, James and Lula Lovvorn, in Stamford, Texas. All her siblings were born earlier; a sister Mary Edna (1924-1987) along with a bunch of pure Texas style brothers, T.J. (1916-1982), Bill (1920-2017), and Dan (1926-1987).

While at Stamford High School she had the unique opportunity to not only be kissed by Elvis Presley, but dance with him (and she remarked she barely managed to not just collapse in his arms — from being overwhelmed or on purpose, she never would say).

Norretta eventually left Texas after graduating from the University of Texas to pursue her master’s degree in library science from Emory University in Atlanta. It’s true what they say, and she was living proof: you can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the girl. She remained a Longhorn’s fanatic all her remaining days.

After teaching in the Atlanta Public Schools, she reconnected with the man who won her heart back in college, Bob Taylor. They married on Aug. 17, 1968, and after a short stay in Texas, moved to Amherst, Massachusetts, where they both were employed by the University of Massachusetts.

Bob and Norretta moved to Boulder, Colorado for his PhD program, then back to UMass, followed by a move to Richmond, Virginia, and finally FAU/Boca Raton, Florida where she began a successful career in real estate before they both retired and moved to Waynesville, North Carolina.

While in South Florida, Norretta was involved in supporting the Caldwell Theatre, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Children’s Science Explorium.

Retirement consisted of an enthusiastic continuation of volunteer work at The Haywood Arts Council for many years, as well as being a strong supporter of HART Theatre, the Asheville Symphony, and Sarge’s Rescue. It is with honor she also supports The National World War II organization in memory of her brother, Lt. Col. Bill Lovvorn.

Norretta is preceded in death by her husband, Bob, her parents and siblings. She leaves behind her much-loved foster daughter, Christine Dennler and her husband, Owen; the beloved daughters of Christine, Stephanie Dennler-Sima of San Diego, California and Kelsey Dennler-Sima of Washington, Missouri and Kelsey’s daughter, Mavery Rose; treasured nieces, Terry Lovvorn, and her husband, George Welter, and April Lovvorn and her husband, Don Foster, both of Williamsburg, Virginia.

Norretta’s life will be celebrated on Sunday, May 15, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. at Wells Events and Reception Center.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Haywood County Arts Council, P.O. Box 306, Waynesville, NC 28786 or Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation, P.O. Box 854, Waynesville, NC 28786.

The care of Norretta has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at