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On Thursday, August 17, 2023, our beloved Deanna C. Taylor was summoned to her heavenly home surrounded by loving family.
Deanna was born on November 29, 1945, in Norfolk, Virginia, to the late Dorothy and Willie Cuffie Sr. As the eldest of this union, Deanna took on responsibilities within the family, and that devotion to faith and family impelled her to assist her parents with raising her siblings as well. Deanna was educated in the York County Schools System, attending (the then) James Weldon Johnson. She married the love of her life, Richard L. Taylor Jr., and was blessed with five loving children. Deanna was a Culinary Specialist working at various locales throughout Williamsburg.
She accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior at an early age and was a member of Mt. Gilead Baptist Church for over sixty years, serving in several ministries. She was a member of the Pastoral Aide, Hospitality Committee, Senior, Mass, and Morgan Inspirational Choirs. She loved using her strong Soprano voice to sing in her church choir as well as The United Fellowship Choir. Many recall her singing two of her favorites, “If it had not been for the Lord on My Side” and “God Has Always Stood by My Side,” both of which definitely rang true in her life.
Deanna, more affectionately known as “Nana,” was a secondary mother figure to most who encountered her. She often fed the neighborhood kids, whether it was something she cooked or a special treat from the store. We all know her homemade rolls were a special treat for many. She was always one to give all she could and to help in any way imaginable to those she loved. Her shoulder was a place for those to lean on in times of needed support; her ears were there to listen but expect a loving and honest response. She was a trusted community figure who was responsible for the care of several generations as she was the governess to many of her family and friends. Nana definitely impacted countless lives in such a positive and loving way, known as the neighborhood granny and loved by all.
Nana loved spending time with her family, especially her grands and greats, whom she referred to as her 3 Kings, 3 Queens, 3 Princes, and 1 Princess. She enjoyed quality time with her children, playing cards with her family, going to lunch with her siblings, and her Bingo. Other hobbies included watching Game Shows, Soap Operas, Tyler Perry shows, and Westerns. She was a football fan who loved the Raiders. You could often find her lying across her bed with her glasses tilted on her nose, doing her Daily Press crossword puzzles with ease. She shared many special moments with her nieces and nephew, she would often have them double over with laughter. She loved dancing with them, taking them places, or making their favorite meals for pick-up. Her devotion to her family filled the lives of many with laughter and joy. Her favorite scripture was Psalms 46:10, “Be Still and Know That I Am God,” and she trusted in Him, read and studied her Bible, and was very familiar with the scriptures.
Deanna was preceded in death by her husband, Richard L. Taylor Jr.; daughter, Vanessa D. Cuffie; and grandson, Kameron Stanley. She leaves precious memories and countless nuggets of wisdom with her children, Anita D. Washington (Lorenzo), Tracy R. Cuffie, and Dawn S. Taylor, all of Williamsburg; son, Richard L. Taylor III (Regina) of Mooresville, NC; her treasured grandchildren, Natisha J. Washington, Cierra L. Blanding (Westlee), Richard Taylor IV, Ryan Taylor, and Karrington Stanley; great-grandchildren, Aiyhan Johnson, Asiaiah Johnson, Azzan Johnson, and Malique Raynor, all whom brought her such great joy and they loved her greatly; devoted sisters, Aurelia C. Wallace, Paulette S. Ashby, Debra C. Johnson, and Sarah C Washington; brother, Willie J. Cuffie Jr.; sister-in-law, Jeanette D Thorpe; brother-in-law, Taziel L. Wallace; and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and the York Terrace neighborhood.
A service to celebrate Deanna’s life will be held at 12:00 p.m. Thursday, August 31, 2023, at New Beach Grove Baptist Church. Interment to follow in Mt. Gilead Baptist Church Cemetery. Ms. Taylor may be viewed on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the church.
Professional services entrusted to the staff of Whiting’s Funeral Home, 7005 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185 757-229-3011 whitingsfuneralhome.com