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Dana Deann Taylor

June 15, 1970

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After a battle with pancreatic cancer, Dana Deann Taylor passed away on April 10, 2022, in Odessa, Texas, at the age of 51.


Dana was born to Dr. E. Don and Patricia Taylor in Odessa on June 15, 1970. Dana and her parents called Odessa home all their lives. Dana attended Odessa Christian School, Crockett Jr. High School, and she graduated from Odessa High School in 1988.


Dana discovered her love of writing while writing feature articles for the Odessa High School newspaper. After attending Odessa College for one year, Dana transferred to Texas Tech University to pursue her writing. Dana graduated Texas Tech in 1992 with her Bachelor’s Degree in News/Editorial Journalism. Dana returned home to Odessa and worked as a reporter for the Odessa American newspaper and in media relations for the Odessa Chamber of Commerce.


Dana returned to Texas Tech in 1996 and graduated with her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech University School of Law in 1999. Great thanks due to Dana’s long-time, dear friend, Dr. Mark Jamison, for supporting Dana through tough law school years! Dana earned her Texas State Bar License in November 1999, and she practiced exclusively family law from then forward. Dana briefly practiced with Odessa Legal Aid and various local attorneys before establishing her own family law practice in Odessa in March 2010.


Dana’s dearest friend, Geraldyn Kenimer, joined the law practice in June 2015. Together, Dana and Geraldyn grew the practice to great success, practicing divorce, child custody, and family law in Odessa, Midland, and the surrounding counties. The team won NewsWest 9 and Odessa American Best Attorney awards in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2020. Dana considered her solid reputation as a fair and trustworthy, but aggressive, attorney as her greatest professional achievement.


Dana married local attorney, Bret Mansur, on March 23, 2016. The two met in the courtroom as opposing divorce attorneys in 2014; they never parted from each other’s side from that fateful meeting. Dana and her “tall handsome dude” road tripped across Texas, finding “new roads” to explore, touring Texas bluebonnet fields, and photographing Texas county courthouses.


Dana’s proudest moments were watching her loved ones achieve their own goals. Dana happily watched Bret grow into a top-notch criminal defense attorney. Dana encouraged Geraldyn and Chloe Rivera in pursuing their college educations – always telling “her girls” to go set the world on fire! Dana achieved one of her own most proud moments teaching Family Law at Odessa College in 2017 – paying tribute to her Father, Dr. E. Don Taylor, who retired in 1998 after 30 years of teaching Chemistry at Odessa College.


Dana’s story is not complete without mention of her two favorites – Ruidoso, New Mexico and her most-beloved cat, Sam. Ruidoso was Dana’s happy place. The Ruidoso mountains called, and she went to Jeep trails, to hear the sound of winds in the tall pines, to drink her favorite coffee by the river, and to make memories in her Ruidoso home. And, Sam! Sam was her faithful and loyal companion since April 2007.


Great thanks to the Odessa and Midland legal communities who supported Dana, Bret, and Geraldyn through Dana’s cancer journey. Dana’s heart was touched by the outpouring of love and support and encouragement from the local Family Law Bar.


Dana is survived by her Husband, Bret, and her Mother, Patricia. Dana is also survived by Aunts and Uncles, Judy and James Morell and Donald and Nancy Tatum; Cousins, Wes, Michelle, Amy, and Ashley; Mother-in-Law, Linda Mansur; and friends Dana loved as family – Geraldyn and James Kenimer (and a little Fox!) and Chloe Rae Rivera. Dana is preceded in death by her Father, Dr. E. Don Taylor, and her Maternal Grandmother, Betty Jo Tatum. Dana found great peace in her belief that she and her Dad would be reunited again.


Cremation arrangements are by Sunset Memorial Funeral Home. No service will be held. A Celebration of Life will be held in the near future. Dana’s ashes will be set free from atop the Ruidoso mountains. Donations to the local animal shelter or humane society would made Dana smile.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dana Deann Taylor, please visit our floral store.


No services to be held

Sunset Memorial Funeral Home
6801 E. Business 20 Hwy
Odessa, TX 79762

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