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Mount Sinai Obituaries and Services » Diane Taylor

Diane Taylor

December 16, 1946

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Diane Carmela Taylor (née: DeFranco): December 16, 1946 – January 8, 2015

It seems truly impossible to summarize the life of Diane Carmela Taylor, a woman whose vibrant spirit seemed always to shine forth from her perpetual smile. Diane loved living life; she treated every moment as an opportunity for adventure and new experiences. Bright, beautiful, energetic, and creative, in her youth Diane traveled extensively, working as a fashion model and an actress, starring in a major campaign with Jaguar Land Rover Automotive in the 1970s, and then appearing in various films and on television, even as a recurring guest host on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Leaving a successful modeling and acting career behind, Diane then turning her passion for the arts into a business in the early 1990s with her unique, semi-precious, hand-beaded eyeglass leashes and necklaces, which have sold worldwide for the past twenty years. Her brand Diane Taylor Designs cemented her place as a top designer and innovator in the eyeglass fashion industry. Beyond her talent and life’s work, however, Diane’s greatest joy was found in her family. She was a devoted daughter, loving sister, supportive friend, and loyal, loving wife and partner, and she lived and breathed for her only son, Marcus, who she loved more than anything. A proud cancer survivor, Diane battled the terrible disease twice in her lifetime before finally succumbing this winter after a long and painful battle to an aggressive recurrence, barely six months after losing her beloved husband Gary, and only a few weeks after celebrating her sixty-eighth birthday surrounded by her loving family. Yet throughout her pain and struggle, Diane remained always a true embodiment of positivity, grace, courage, and strength. Her infectious laugh, her quick wit and sense of humor, her passion for life, love for her family and for her two black cats, even her constant cravings for chocolate, all are parts of a whole that still remains undefinable. One cannot simply define Diane: her beautiful soul transcended definition and boundaries. She will forever be our inspiration. Diane is survived by her son Marcus and his wife Rachel, her mother Lilyan, her sister Janet and her family, her step-son Josh, and her ex-husband Mark and his family. May her memory be for a blessing.

The family will be having a private internment and memorial service this Sunday, January 11, 2015. In this time of mourning the family will also be observing the Jewish tradition of shiva. The family will be attending the ma’ariv service at Sinai Temple – 10400 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90024 – in Kohn Chapel, starting at 5:45 pm this upcoming Sunday evening and Monday evening, January 11-12, 2015, and will be receiving guests at Sinai Temple immediately following services. During the remainder of the shiva period the family will be mourning privately at home, and request no visitations or contact while they grieve. We thank you for your respect, support and understanding during this incredibly painful and difficult time.

In lieu of any gifts or flowers, please consider making a memorial tribute in Diane’s name to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, an organization that supports a cause near and dear to Diane and to our entire family: To donate, call 1-866-789-1000, visit, or write to The Lustgarten Foundation, 1111 Stewart Avenue, Bethpage, NY 11714. Please make your check payable to The Lustgarten Foundation.