Former Roanoke First Lady Barbara Jean “BJ” Smith Taylor Dies at 88

ROANOKE, VA. – Former Roanoke First Lady Barbara Jean “BJ” Smith Taylor died at age 88 on November 15, 2022. Hamlar-Curtis Funeral Home & Crematory.

Barbara assumed the role of first lady of Roanoke when her husband, Noel Taylor, was elected mayor in 1976, according to her obituary. She was the First Lady of Roanoke for 16 years.

As well as serving in local government with her husband, they also led the High Street Baptist Church as pastor and first lady for 37 years.

Her obituary notes that while she was proud of her role as First Lady, her most important role was being a mom to her two daughters, Sabrina and Desiree.

“Never losing sight of her primary job as a first-time mother, she ensured that everyone received the attention they needed to feel valued and appreciated, which in itself made her an exceptional and extraordinary citizen in the Roanoke community.” – says her obituary.

You can read more about Barbara and her life journey here.

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