Marion Taylor lost both her parents at a young age and lived with her aunt as a child. She never married, never had children.
Instead, friends and family said, she poured her heart into working on behalf of stray dogs and cats on the South Shore.
Taylor, 68, of East Rockaway, died Sunday.
For years, Taylor worked as a volunteer for several shelters, including one in Long Beach, and a Glendale rescue center, Bobbiandthestrays.org, said her friend, Lisa Finkelstein of Island Park, also an animal advocate. Taylor also was a volunteer with the North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, Finkelstein said.
"She dedicated her life to feeding stray cats, working at adoption events for dogs and taking care of animals in local shelters," Finkelstein said.
Taylor moved in with her aunt's family in New Jersey in 1952, when she was 11 and just after her parents had died, said her cousin Edna Caliendo, 71, of Raleigh, N.C. Taylor, Caliendo and Kanehailua were inseparable as children, Caliendo said.
Taylor struck out on her own, moving to Long Island in the early 1960s, Caliendo said.
She worked for years in the box office at Madison Square Garden, Kanehailua said, but caring for animals superseded nearly everything.
About a year ago, Taylor was involved in an accident in which she suffered broken ribs, broken wrists and a concussion, Caliendo said. "In the car with her was her dog," Caliendo said. "And before Marion would go to the hospital herself, she went to the vet's with the dog. Only after the dog was taken care of would she go to the hospital."
Services are Thursday, 7 to 9 p.m., at Edward F. Lieber Funeral Home, Valley Stream. Burial will be in Raleigh, Caliendo said, near family.