WHEN IT CAME to food, Seleda K. Taylor was the go-to woman.
She not only was in charge of feeding Philadelphia students as a food-service manager for city schools, but she could also cook up amazing meals for her family and friends.
Seleda - who not only fed children but also worked with those who needed guidance in the community - an active churchwoman and a welcome guest at any gathering because of her cheerful nature, died March 5. She was 71.
"She was well-known and loved for her infectious smile, which caused many people to gravitate to her," her family told the Philadelphia Tribune. "As inviting as it was, her smile captivated the hearts of many, especially those who needed cheering up. It was sure to brighten anyone's day."
During her career with the school district, Seleda was responsible for serving meals to the students and staff at the former Kinsey Elementary School, the Hill Freedman Middle School and Comprehensive Daycare Centers.
"She did this with unwavering commitment," her family said.
Seleda was born in Lake City, Fla., to Emily R. Taylor and Amos Kelly. She lived in Tallahassee, Fla., before moving to Philadelphia and settling in Frankford with her mother.
She graduated from Mastbaum Vocational Technical High School in 1962. She was also a student at the old Key Punching School, and took courses at Community College of Philadelphia, Penn State University and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
At the latter school, she pursued her interest in drawing.
Seleda was a member of Campbell African Methodist Episcopal Church, where she served as junior usher and sang in the youth adult choir and later the adult choir. She was president of the President's Council and a member of the Mothers Club, the Lay Organization and Stewardess Board #2.
She was a member of the American Food Service Association and the Pennsylvania School Food Service Association. She was also active in the Order of the Eastern Star.
She is survived by a daughter, Noel Nicole Taylor-Sanchious; her mother, and a sister, Yvette Durham.