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Barbara Taggart age 99 of Chagrin Falls passed away peacefully on May 16, 2018. Affably known as “Mrs. T,” Barbara and her husband founded the renown Taggart’s Toys & Hob- bies store in 1960—first in Solon and two years later in Chagrin Falls—until it was sold in 2001. Sadly, it folded five years later.
Learning from every mistake in the book, they slowly created a considerable customer base as the mer- chandise assortment evolved. Featuring specialized toys, hobbies, service, and variety, Taggart’s generated toy cat- alogs and biyearly newsletters using their personalized customer mailing list of over 9000 names.
Barbara was proud of what she accomplished and respectably earned the Chagrin Valley Jaycees’ Distin- guished Service Award in 2003. “It was so much fun day in and day out. What could be happier than a toy store?” she said. By the time Taggart’s closed for good in 2006, it had served three generations of families and had become a Chagrin Falls institution.
Born March 6, 1919, and raised in Shaker Hts., Barbara was musically inclined. She played her father’s drum and French horn in school. At age 14, she drove the fami- ly’s 1926 Willys Whippet, and started high school at the height of The Great Depression.
Her first job in Shaker Heights high school office enabled her to buy a used 1934 Graham Paige. She and her mother drove it 2,302 miles across the country in July 1939 to marry Norman Taggart in California. Before freeways, motels, or air conditioning, the trip took eight days and 1661⁄2 gallons of gas.
Barbara and Norman moved into a house they built in Inglewood, California just days before Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941. The newlyweds’ life be- came that of searchlights scanning the sky for unidentified planes; air raid warnings; and fear of being attacked.
Six years and two babies later, it was back to Ohio where they settled in the Chagrin Falls’ school district area of Moreland Hills and had their third child.
Before the store, her jobs included a home mimeographing business and an opti- cian’s receptionist where she learned bookkeeping. She belonged to many organizations and clubs and was a proponent of many civic causes. Hobbies included home restora- tion projects, gardening and sewing—and experimenting once making maple syrup.
She leaves behind two daughters, Trudy (Bob) Miller of Georgia, and Tricia (Fred) Pfaff of Chagrin Falls; two granddaughters, Erin of Lakewood and Shannon of Columbus, OH; a brother Selden (Barbara) Burtch of Kauai, Hawaii. Her son Terry and husband Norman passed away previously on March 23, 2017, and May 13, 1987, respectively.
Friends and family may pay their last respects Tuesday, May 22 from 5 - 8 p.m. at the Family Life Center, 16349 Chillicothe Rd., Chagrin Falls OH 44023. A memorial service will be held Wednesday, May 23 at 1:00 p.m. at the Federated Church, 76 Bell Street, Chagrin Falls OH 44022. The family suggests memorial contributions to “Clyde Transportation Fund” in care of The Federated Church for help in replacing their old bus.