Former Roanoke First Lady Barbara Jean ‘B.J.’ Smith Taylor dies at 88

She served as First Lady of Roanoke from 1975 to 1992

ROANOKE, Va. – Former Roanoke First Lady Barbara Jean “B.J.” Smith Taylor died at the age of 88 on Nov. 15, 2022, according to Hamlar-Curtis Funeral Home & Crematory.

Barbara took on the role of First Lady of Roanoke when her husband, Noel Taylor, was elected as mayor in 1976, her obituary said. She served as Roanoke’s First Lady for 16 years.

In addition to her time in local government alongside her husband, they also led High Street Baptist Church as Pastor and First Lady for 37 years.

Her obituary notes that while she took pride in her roles as First Lady, her most important role was being a mom to two daughters, Sabrina and Deseree.

“Never losing sight of her primary job as First Mother, she ensured everyone received the attention needed to feel valued and appreciated, which in itself made her an exceptional and extraordinary citizen in the Roanoke community,” her obituary read.

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

About the Author:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.