Idaho Navy veteran and LGBTQ activist Madelynn Taylor to be buried next to his wife

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After years of struggling to make sure she could be buried alongside his late wife Jean Mixner, Taylor’s dream is finally coming true.

BOISE, Idaho – Madelynn Lee Taylor, a well-known U.S. Navy veteran and LGBTQIA + activist, died aged 81 in early April. After years of struggling to make sure she can be buried next to his wife, his dream is finally coming true.

At just 18, Taylor joined the Navy as one of the many accomplishments she hoped to accomplish in her lifetime.

“She’s always been a caring person, and she’s always done, you know, whatever she does,” said Karen Hicks, Taylor’s sister. “She was a lot of people, all gathered into one. There wasn’t a day that Madlynn wasn’t busy and active or doing some sort of plan.

For six years, Taylor served in the Navy in various technical positions within the Space Program. However, many people remember her for her dedication and commitment to the LGBTQIA + community in Idaho.

“With this big family that we had, Madelyn wasn’t the only one to be a part of this particular community,” Hicks said. “There were a few more, so we understand why she was fighting and we knew she would never give up.”

When Taylor’s wife, Jean Mixner, passed away in 2012, she began to prepare for her own death. As a veteran in good standing, she could be buried or buried at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery and wanted his wife to rest next to her.

However, Idaho’s same-sex marriage laws prohibited this from happening.

Taylor filed a lawsuit against the Idaho Department of Veterans Affairs in 2013 so that she could be buried with his late wife. His request was ultimately rejected due to Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The following year, the 9th Idaho Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state’s ban unconstitutional. Therefore, Taylor and his wife would be buried together.

Not only did she fight to be buried with his wife, but Taylor also changed the law for generations to come.

“She had been arrested several times but she didn’t care,” Hicks said. “She had something she was fighting for. She wanted it done and it’s done.

Although Taylor was a fighter until the very end, she never lost her sense of humor and zest for life, according to Hicks.

“When I looked at her photos, trying to figure out what to put together, she was all laughing, or smiling or joking,” she said. “She loved life the way it was. The people of Boise will remember that she did so much for them. She was just tired, she finished, she did her job.”

Taylor’s family are still working on arrangements for funeral services to be held at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery. There will be a public memorial on Saturday, May 2 at 3 p.m. at the Anne Frank Memorial in downtown Boise.

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