On Friday, May 12 th , 2023, Fannie Dianne Dyson (Dianne) passed into eternal rest and peace. She was called home to the Lord in her sleep early morning, surrounded by her family, at her daughter’s residence in Glendale, Maryland.
Affectionately known as “Dianne,” she was born in Lawrenceville, VA, to the late Vivian and Norfleet Spence. Dianne was one of a set of identical twins, Mattie Deloris Braxton (Deloris). These two were inseparable early on, which continued throughout their lives and often included family trips.
Dianne was a true believer in Jesus Christ and began her Christian journey early in life at the Popular Mount Baptist Church, Lawrenceville, VA. Throughout her life, she continued her walk with Christ as an active member of several churches, including Round Oak Baptist Church and People’s Community Baptist Church. She enjoyed attending church revivals and retreats while contributing her free time to church and charitable events.
Dianne was formerly married to James Dyson, Sr., and from this union, two children were born, James Dyson, Jr., and Tiffany James.
Like her mother before her, Dianne completed her early education at James Solomon High School in Lawrenceville, VA, in 1965. Soon after graduating, she began her long journey of higher learning at St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, VA. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at the Federal City College in 1972, now the University of the District of Colombia (UDC), in Washington, DC. Upon graduating from UDC, she began her professional career teaching kindergarten- 6 th grade in the District of Colombia Public Schools system.
While working full-time and raising an infant son, Dianne started graduate school at Trinity College in Washington, DC. While pregnant with her second child, she completed her Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education in 1976. She continued teaching for the next ten years in DCPS until she temporarily sacrificed her career to be a stay-at-home mom.
Just like her mother, Dianne was a lifelong dedicated educator. After a four-year hiatus, the call to teach again was overwhelming, leading her to the Montgomery County School System. She taught Head Start, Kindergarten, Reading, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). In her last fourteen years of teaching, she taught ESOL at Glen Haven Elementary School in Silver Spring, MD. Here, she met a group of loyal and dedicated educators who started as just co-workers but grew to be supportive friends and family when she retired in 2014.
Dianne was a spirited teacher, facilitator, and ESOL parent outreach specialist for over thirty-five years. She was awarded many Principal Awards and Certificates of Appreciation for her efforts in and out of the classroom. A colleague noted her as, “A woman who will find the child within and will spark possibility and light it to full flame.” Educating and impacting young lives was her passion. After retirement, she continued to substitute teach, still influencing young lives, as well as inspiring and mentoring up-and-coming teachers.
She enjoyed attending concerts, traveling, hand dancing, old TV shows, and playing the penny slots at every opportunity. She enjoyed spending time with long-time friends and often frequented high school and college reunions. Her source of inspiration and enjoyment was spending time with her children, grandchildren, nieces, and great-nephews.
She is survived by her son and daughter, James Dyson, Jr. and Tiffany James (Brandon); sisters Deloris Braxton and Constance Watkins of Silver Spring, Maryland; three grandchildren, Brynn and Harley James and Allegra Dyson; niece Robin Watkins; nephew Shaun Braxton; great-nephews Dylan and Kyle Davis; and many other loving relatives and friends. She is now at peace in God’s hands and is surrounded by her predeceased mother; brothers, Norfleet, Tyrone, and Reginald; and two nieces, Michelle Spence Jaleel (Umer) and Christy Braxton.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Fannie Dianne (Spence) Dyson, please visit our floral store.