Diane Elizabeth Taylor, 72, educator who traveled the world through her career

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Diane Elizabeth Taylor
Diane Elizabeth Taylor

Anyone who came into the presence of Diane Elizabeth Taylor, never forgot her laugh. She gave smiles and laughter to friends and strangers alike. Her laughter was an expression of her happiness and joy. She died on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 after a two-year battle with small cell lung cancer, at the age of 72.

Diane was the second child born to Robert and Elizabeth Taylor on January, 5, 1944. Her sister, Barbara, was there to welcome the healthy baby girl. Though Diane never had children, her sister gave her three nephews, whom she adored. Michael, Steven and Christopher were her avenues to express love as a doting aunt. They, in turn, gave her seven great-nieces and great-nephews, whom she cherished. Her sister was her best friend throughout her life and was cared for by Barbara during her last weeks of life. She loved her family and friends deeply. Diane, Aunt Dee Dee, or Dee were her AKA’s.

In Williamsburg, the Burke family was her rock for many years and loved her as their own. She was a devoted friend and family member to those she loved, including her best friend, Joyce.

Diane loved everything about her upbringing. She loved her birth place of Pittsburgh, Pa., the Steelers, the streets and neighborhoods where she played as a child and went to school and her family history. She loved animals, children, her friends, freedom and her garden. Although she went to school at Florida State University and became a teacher of young children, she never lost her affection for Pittsburgh.

Her 40 years as an educator gave her the opportunity to travel the world. She taught in Florida, Georgia and Colorado and spent over 20 years in Asia and Europe, teaching children of military service members as a Department of Defense Dependent Schools educator. Finally, she taught in Newport News Public Schools and retired in 2008. She lived in James City County for over 20 years and made many friends here. Those who loved her will miss her deeply.

A private memorial service will be held in her home in July.

In lieu of flowers, Diane asked that donations be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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