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Deana Kay Taylor, 63

| January 12, 2022 12:00 AM

Deana Kay Taylor, 63, passed into the arms of her Savior on Nov. 13, 2021, at Logan Health in Whitefish from Covid-19 and pneumonia. She was surrounded by family.

Deana was born on July 4, 1958, to Virginia "Ginger" and Robert Wheeler, during a tornado in Billings. She was not born into an easy life: three weeks premature, and only weighing a little over three pounds, she was able to fit in the palms of the doctor's hands. Her lungs were always weak, and she was prone to sickness, but she never let that keep her from serving others all her life.

A semi-mischievous childhood was spent in Missoula, where Deana desired nothing more than being the chief of an all-girl "Indian" tribe, playing with friends and dolls, getting lost in "Nancy Drew," "Trixie Beldon," and "Little House on the Prairie" books, and listening to The Osmond Brothers. By the time her family moved to Somers, she began to bend her thoughts towards boys, and the yearning to be a wife and mother, to build the home and family she always wanted with the man of her dreams, Alan Taylor, the older brother of her friend and schoolmate, Elaine. Though both Alan and Deana were extremely shy, she seized the opportunity to introduce herself to him at a roller-skating party, and the rest, as they say, is history. The two were married on June 15, 1979.

With the birth of their three children, Jennifer, Christopher and, eight years later, James, Deana's greatest aspirations were to help provide for her family as they grew — whether it was sharing the Bible verse that meant the most to her (John 14:2), homeschooling her youngest son, re-entering the workforce so they could have a better life, and even attending drafting school in Spokane with her husband, to support him in his own dream. And while her work as a certified nurse assistant in the Alzheimer's wing of Heritage Place in Kalispell might be considered her most noble, she was always a wife, mother, and eventually grandmother first, and that's where her heart always was.

Deana was shy — an introvert to the extreme, and though she became weaker and more tired as she grew older, she never stopped serving. Through diabetes, heart surgery, and a resulting difficulty breathing, she was always cooking for family get-togethers, maintaining a spotless home, and loving on her four Kalispell grandchildren with baking dates, puzzles, games and dress-up. She was always an ear without judgment, open to anyone who had a worry or a heart-break to confide, and would end her conversations with a heart-felt, "I love you," and "Hang in there." It was no accident that those were her parting words on this earth. Her heart was the hearth that drew her family around her, warming them with her love.

Her legacy of love is survived in her husband, Alan, her daughter Jennifer (husband Jeff Wolcott), son Christopher, son James (wife Amanda Taylor), her brother, Rob, sister, Mandy Smith (husband Jonathan Smith); and five grandchildren, Brody, Sarah, Willow, Emiliyah and Asa. From the little girl who thought the Independence Day fireworks were to celebrate her, to the woman who devoting every last breath to assure her love for them, Deana is both missed and tenderly remembered, as she can now see her Father God's many rooms, and the one prepared especially for her.

For those who wish to celebrate this wonderful woman with her family, a future date will be announced once the weather is warmer, to plant a tree in her memory in Woodland Park.

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