Barbara Taylor: A Family Legacy of Philanthropy

There’s more to Barbara Taylor’s legacy than what was written in her will.

When she passed away in 2020, Taylor left more than half a million dollars to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to forever benefit charitable causes in the region. But she gave her family something more – the gift of philanthropy.

“One of the greatest legacies she gave us was a family whose company we crave. We are a very close family,” said daughter Kathy Brobst.

Brobst, along with her siblings Gail Perry and Michael Khandelwal, will advise on the fund created by their mother’s estate at the community foundation, which will benefit charitable youth causes.

“She had a special affinity for young people – their education, their safety, their health and welfare,” said her son Michael Khandelwal. “So that’s why the fund is set up in such a way. Our goal is to help organizations that work with youth.”

Brobst added: “She thought education was an investment into your future, and education is something important. She passed that on to her children and grandchildren.”

Taylor was so passionate about education that she moved her family from Chicago to enroll in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill well into adulthood.

“I think the really cool thing about our mother is that she had three young daughters and then had a divorce, then applied to colleges and moved them across the country. As a single mom of three young kids, she went to college and then to graduate school in the 1960s,” Khandelwal said.

Taylor graduated with a double major in sociology and psychology, and she earned Phi Beta Kappa honors. She then earned a master’s degree in public health and later taught at Old Dominion University. Taylor remarried and later had Khandelwal, teaching at night until he was in kindergarten. She then taught full-time.

All the while, she remained active in the community, including serving as an elder in the Session at the former Thalia Trinity Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach.

Now, Taylor’s legacy of giving will forever live on through the community foundation and her children and grandchildren because of the generosity she left behind.

“Keeping the fund going is very important to us because it keeps her name going, her memory going, and it keeps her charitable spirit going,” Brobst said. “We have already informed the generation below us that they are going to be responsible for carrying this on once we are gone.”


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