Sister Mary Jacquetta was born in Willows, California. She was one of eight children of Carl and Zeta (Spooner) Taylor. She graduated from Mercy Academy in Red Bluff, California, in 1951, entering the Sisters of Mercy in Omaha the next year. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from College of Saint Mary in three years.
Sister Jacquetta served as a floor supervisor and director of nursing at Mercy hospitals in Red Bluff, California; Council Bluffs, Iowa; and Devils Lake, North Dakota. In 1969, she was called to Roseburg, Oregon, to be the hospital’s director of nursing services. Within two years, she was named administrator of what would become CHI Mercy Health/Medical Center.
Sister Jacquetta is credited with being the powerhouse behind Roseburg’s current medical services. In the early 1970s, the board and sisters determined it would be most cost-effective to close the Mercy hospital and sell its assets to the Douglas Community Hospital (DCH). However, during the negotiations, the board refused Sister Jacquetta’s financial offer, preferring to wait until Mercy Hospital went out of business.
DCH’s response prompted Sister Jacquetta to explore building a new hospital on an 83-acre site, which she did. As the new hospital’s president and chief executive officer, she oversaw the project that eventually absorbed DCH and expanded regional healthcare services.
Upon completion of the project, Sister Jacquetta retired. At 62, she moved to Omaha along with her sister, Sister Mary Carolita, to live with their Mercy community where they could be cared for, as early-stage Alzheimer’s began setting in for both sisters.