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In loving memory of
Diane S. Wright
  • June 14, 1947
  • -
  • June 07, 2022

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Diane Sue Wright, aged 74, died after a 3 ½ year battle with breast cancer, on June 7, 2022 at the Villages, FL.

Diane is survived by her husband, Tom; her daughter, Jennifer Payne, her husband, Bill, and their daughters, Lauren and Ashley of Edmonds, Washington; her son Christopher Wright, his wife, Kimberly, and their children, Tristan and Taylor of Newport Beach, California; and her brother Larry Taylor and his wife, Jan, of Clarion, Iowa.

Diane was born in Clarion, Iowa and brought up on the family farm, learning at an early age to drive a tractor, care for the animals and help with the crops. When she was very young, her family discovered she had been gifted with a beautiful singing voice and she began performing for groups by six years of age. Her voice led her to Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Voice Performance. It was there she met her husband, Tom.

Upon her marriage, she moved with Tom to the Washington, DC area, where Tom was beginning his second year of dental school. Their daughter, Jennifer was born during his senior year. Upon graduation, Tom was commissioned into the Navy, where, during his 28 years of service, they moved to a variety of duty stations, both in the U.S. and overseas, including Bermuda where Chris was born.

During Tom’s career, Diane took a job with Navy Federal Credit Union, and she was able to continue with them until her retirement after 23 years, as the manager of the branch onboard the Naval Station, Mayport, FL. During that time she embarked on a path to achieve her masters via night school, receiving her MBA from the University of North Florida.

Diane pursued her passion for music by directing a myriad of choirs and choral groups, and singing in local and semi-professional theater groups. When they moved to the Villages, they joined Community United Methodist Church, in Fruitland Park, where she eventually became the Minister of Traditional Worship, a position she held until just before her passing. She leaves behind a loving family and scores of friends whose lives she touched.

Her viewing will be held at the Baldwin Brothers facility, at 3990 E. SR 44, Wildwood, FL on June 14, 2022 from 5-7 pm. Her burial will be the following day at Bushnell National Cemetery at 10:15 am on June 15, 2022, with a memorial service to follow, that will be held at Community United Methodist Church, in Fruitland Park, FL at 1 pm; a reception will follow.

Her family would like to thank her church, family and friends for their love, support and devotion during her illness. They would also like to share their appreciation to the wonderful professionals at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, as well as the caring folks at Hospice who helped her so much in her last days.

The family requests that donations be made to cancer research, in lieu of flowers.

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  1. Phyllis Whalen says:
    17 Jun 2022
    Diane has been a hug part of my musical experience here. We sang together at least 3 times a week. Besides choir we had a small a cappella group for 9 years. We became very close, not just singing and talking but laughing, crying, grieving, praying, hugging, and always loving. Joyful Sound became sisters! We loved each other. When we sang Diane would look at us individually with such love in her eyes. I will never forget that.
    I am so glad I had the opportunity to sit at her bedside and talk and laugh with her just days before her passing. Diane is a beautiful spirit. She is with Jesus now!

  2. Penny Kintz says:
    14 Jun 2022
    Diane was a huge part of John’s and my life for 9 years. For 11 months every year, we were with her for at least 4 if not 5 rehearsals each week! We have been in Off Broadway Players shows with her, and she directed CUMC chancel choir and God’s Echo small group mixed ensemble. She was also in our Joyful Sound ladies a capella group and our mixed quartet, Loving God. What a true musical talent . . . who else could sing those extraordinary Sandi Patti solos?!! I’ve never had a director who could bring each part in and cut off each part as well as she did. She studied the music that well! And we all loved her choices of anthems. She always found such GOOD ones!

    In addition to all of that, she was a dear soulmate. Those of us in Joyful Sound became dear sisters. We all became so close with our love for each other. I have never known a bond like that before. Such wonderful times singing, laughing, crying, praying, grieving, hugging . . . loving!

    And then there was Loving God Quartet. John and I loved that so much. I cannot tell you how much fun we had at rehearsals. We loved singing together so much and loved the music we were singing so much that we couldn’t stop grinning at each other!! I have a video of our favorite anthem if you would like to see it. Diane didn’t like to look at videos of her performances. She was too critical. But I think it is really good! What fun!!

    We weren’t able to tell her how much we loved her before she died, but as I told Tom; we saw the love in HER eyes, and I know she saw the love in OUR eyes.

    To say that Diane was AMAZING is an understatement. She was so brave and gracious; and to think that it was just a few short weeks ago that she was still directing and singing with us!! She missed the May 11th choir rehearsal, the May 12th God’s Echo and Loving God Quartet rehearsals, and was too ill to be at her “bucket list” Broadway Variety Show on May 13th. We could have canceled that show, but we all wanted to do it as a tribute to Diane. The audience absolutely LOVED it!!! Kudos, Diane!

    Loving you, my dear friend . . . I find peace in picturing you being held in the loving arms of Jesus!


  3. Marilyn Vito says:
    14 Jun 2022
    If ever there was an angel on earth, Diane was it. She gave so much of herself and was such an amazing role model. I loved working with her in the choir, and admired her fortitude and selflessness. I know she is in Heaven, directing a choir of angels, and will already have her angel wings. I loved her like a sister, and am glad I had the chance to tell her that before she left us. Rest in peace dear sister.

    Condolences to the loving family she left behind. May the warm memories of her love and life bless you all.

  4. Lynn Weddle says:
    14 Jun 2022
    Such a dear sister in song and faith. She made me laugh, cry be joyous and sad. What an amazing woman. Joyful Sound met every week for 9 years. She is part of my heart and the loss is profound. But she is with Jesus now and what a joyful reunion we will have someday. Singing forever before the thrown.

  5. Tom Caniff says:
    13 Jun 2022
    She Is Singing in Heaven She was not just a Director she was like my Sis she will be Missed My Prayer is Going Up for Her Family for Peace and Comfort

  6. Barbara Burgess says:
    13 Jun 2022
    Diane was a wonderful choir director. I learned a lot from her. Unfortunately, I was not able to sing in the choir for 2 years due to Covid. She was very gracious and welcoming me back to the choir. I wish I could have come back sooner. I really miss her wonderful personality and sense of humor. I am sure that she is singing in God’s heavenly choir. She is sorely missed!
    My sympathy goes out to Tom and the family.

  7. Barbara Burgess says:
    13 Jun 2022
    Diane was a wonderful choir director for our church. Unfortunately, I was not able to participate for 2 years due to Covid. She was very encouraging to have me come back to choir. I returned but only got to work with her for a couple of months. She will be sorely missed! Rest in peace Diane. You will now be singing in God’s heavenly choir.

  8. Sheri Aylor says:
    13 Jun 2022
    Diane was a peer if our Navy Federal family. So many fond memories of talks, laughter and tent sales. I look forward to spending eternity with you. Hugs my friend.

  9. joyce e mccarthy says:
    12 Jun 2022
    Diane made me real happy when she hired me. She was a great boss and a good friend. She will be be missed..My prayers for her family. God bless you all.

  10. Sylvia Miller says:
    12 Jun 2022
    Diane was an extremely professional as well as eloquent lady, admired by so many from the Navy Federal Family. My sincere thoughts and prayers for her family and friends during this most difficult time…. RIP dear, sweet lady.

  11. Ann Stockton says:
    12 Jun 2022
    Diane was beautiful inside and out. We were blessed to work with her in the church choir and small ensemble groups. She was a talented, caring person. She inspired us with her faith. We will really miss her beautiful smile and sense of humor. Her hearts and prayers go out to her family and all those will loved her. Our comfort now is knowing she is in a better place now free from pain. I know she is happy singing in the heavenly choir now. She will be greatly missed here.....

  12. Maureen Bernadette Ringressy says:
    12 Jun 2022
    Prayers for family. Diane was special. She was the assistant manager at Dam Neck & that's how I new her. Maureen Ringressy

  13. Charles & Naree Armstrong says:
    12 Jun 2022
    Sincere condolences to Tom and the entire the Wright family. We enjoyed her company both professionally and personally from her time at Navy Federal Credit Union and the Mayport Navy League. She will remain in our thoughts and prayers.

  14. M. Keitt lit a candle:
    12 Jun 2022
    Lit since June 12, 2022 at 6:13:11 PM

  15. Corinne Hundley says:
    12 Jun 2022
    Diane was a great mentor to me , she was gracious and a lot of fun to be around. She had a beautiful voice and will be truly missed. May God be with Tom, Jennifer, Christopher, and her family. My prayers will be with you. May God Bless you.

  16. Denise Campbell says:
    12 Jun 2022
    My Prayers and Thoughts go out to the Wright Family. She truly left a smile on many faces. Mayport misses you

  17. Jennifer Sullivan says:
    12 Jun 2022
    Sending my thoughts and prayers to the Wright Family. Diane was my manager for many years at the Mayport Branch until she retired.
    May GOD comfort the family during this difficult time.

  18. Sherl Gaskins says:
    12 Jun 2022
    As part of Diane’s NFCU family I will miss her wit, smiles, professionalism and leadership. To Tom, Jennifer, Chris and your families I wish you strength and peace. Diane was pretty special.

  19. Tracy Pollard says:
    12 Jun 2022
    So sorry to hear this news. Diane was a wonderful person. I first met her when she hired me at Navy Federal Credit Union in 1993. She was dedicated to what she did, a caring, encouraging and ever so kind elegant lady. Prayers for her family.

  20. Ron Haley says:
    12 Jun 2022
    You will always be remembered by the NFCU family .

  21. Ron Haley says:
    12 Jun 2022
    You will always be remembered by the NFCU family as well as a close friend.

  22. ANNA BREARLEY says:
    12 Jun 2022
    My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. I have enjoyed listening to her sing and leading our choir.

  23. Jim Sanders says:
    12 Jun 2022
    The NFCU Retiree's Group is sorry to hear of the passing of your Wife and Mother.

  24. Robert Williamson posted an image:
    12 Jun 2022
    CUMC Talent show 2016
    CUMC Talent show 2016

  25. Gretchen & Lee says:
    11 Jun 2022
    Our sincere wish for God's blessings on Tom, Jen, Chris and your living family. Diane is loved.

    Lee & Gretchen Snyder

  26. Judy Woodling says:
    11 Jun 2022
    Diane was the most gracious, courageous woman I had the honor of knowing and singing under her direction. I will miss her cheery, upbeat personality and her love of our Lord God. I look forward to the day I will sing with her again in God’s heavenly choir.

  27. Lynda Yorks says:
    11 Jun 2022
    I always admired Diane’s lovely soprano voice. We shared a lot of stories in the fellowship hall between services and I got to know what a great sense of humor she had even when she was struggling with treatment. She rescued our choir and bell choir during a difficult time in our church and we all were so grateful for her devotion to our choirs. Blessings to her beloved husband Tom and her family. Lynda and Cliff Yorks

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