November 2, 1997 - September 15, 2021
Janesville, WI - JANESVILLE — Taylor Ekaterina Brandt, born Nov. 2, 1997 (age 23) of Janesville, Wisconsin, passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021.
Born Ekaterina in Moscow, Russia, the Lord blessed Barry and Marci Brandt and allowed them to become her parents on December 28, 1998 as they adopted her from an orphanage in Moscow. At 14 months old, Taylor arrived on January 1, 1999 to a paralyzing snow storm in East Troy, WI. She was a happy, bubbly baby who would go from crying to laughing in seconds. Months later the family moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There she spent her childhood years alongside her brothers — Jonah (25) and Casey (22).
In 2009 the family moved to Janesville, Wisconsin, where Taylor attended Milton High School. If you ask her brothers, there was a hint of jealousy when it came to Taylor's natural talents. Running track, playing soccer, snow skiing, piano lessons, fishing — if she wanted to pick something up, she would, and she'd be good at it. Taylor played competitive club soccer and ran track for Milton High, setting school records in the sprints.
But Taylor's true passion was animals. As a fourth-grader, she penned a very convincing three-page letter explaining why she needed a dog. Her parents compromised with a cat. The letter earned Taylor naming rights, and Lucy the cat had a special place in Taylor's heart. She never got the dog, but ended up working at three different dog kennels as an adult, which she absolutely loved. Taylor was also so proud to have finished school at the Aveda Institutes in Tallahassee, Florida, to become a certified massage therapist.
Some of the family's best memories are from trips to the cabin on Lake Wisconsin, time spent at their Colorado house, on family vacations (Taylor always picked the beach), and Taylor's favorite holiday, Eshlefest. Barry and Marci took the family, as teenagers, back to Moscow to see their birthplace. Taylor and Jonah went to Poland together — they saw the Pope, slept in a field, then flew to Germany to visit their foreign exchange sister, Laura. The whole family fondly remembers their last trip together to New Zealand and Australia.
Taylor was adventurous, kind, laid-back, quick-witted and a hard worker when she put her mind to something. She never stayed mad for long, never held a grudge and never kept her room clean.
Her family will remember her as the girl who laughed while her brothers freaked out on a roller coaster or whitewater raft; the child who gave the best hugs; the sibling who shared a deep adoptee bond; and the sister who would slide notes between the vent connecting her room with her younger brother's.
Taylor is survived by her parents Barry and Marci Brandt, brothers, Jonah Brandt and Casey Brandt, Grandparents Rod and Lou Brandt (Stockton, IL) and Marvin Bower (Lena, IL) and many, many uncles, aunts and cousins. She was preceded in death by her grandparents Doris and Duane Eshleman and Jo Ann Bower.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 AM on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at St. Mary Catholic Church, Milton with Fr. David Wanish officiating. Private burial will be held at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Stockton, IL. Visitation will be held on Monday, September 20, 2021 from 5 PM to 8 PM at the Albrecht Funeral Homes & Cremation Services, Milton with a Rosary Service at 4:30 PM and from 10 AM until the start of the services on Tuesday at the Church. In lieu of flowers, a memorial will be made in Taylor's name at a later date. www.albrechtfuneralhomes.com