Dianne Goodin Travis spent 35 years as a secretary at First Baptist Church and used her role to touch countless lives in the community.

Travis, 76, died on August 3 but left an indelible mark behind him.

Born and raised in Newton, she met her husband of 52 years, Gary Eugene Travis, and the two moved to Shelby where she began working at First Baptist Church.

Former First Baptist Church pastor Tony Tench said he worked with Dianne Travis for many years.

“She has been a great support to all of us and to our ministry,” Tench said. “She was very caring and was ready to serve in any way she could.”

He said she had done a great job keeping church records and keeping up to date with changing technology.

“Bottom line, she was truly a beloved member of our ministry team,” Tench said.

Her son, Ben Travis, said she has helped many people over the years.

“I used to come up there after school…and there was always someone in her office praising her and thanking her for the work she was doing,” he said.

Ben said his parents adopted him when he was 5 months old, and Dianne Travis was a devoted mother who thoroughly enjoyed the role.

“When I was adopted, she just honed in on that love and radiant energy,” he said. “It kind of changed her.”

A member of Beta Sigma Phi, a non-college sorority, she was crowned queen and, through the organization, did various good works in the community.

“We get a lot of phone calls and a lot of people come by and say things about him,” Ben Travis said. “She would literally stop whatever she was doing and go out of her way to help anyone.”

He said when he joined the United States Marine Corps, she was worried but supportive.

“He was a sweet, loving person and the thought of his son being in the Marine Corps worried him,” Ben Travis said. “She was writing letters not only to me, but to my entire platoon. She wrote them all the letters as if she were their mother.

He said that was who she was, a person who would always go above and beyond what was expected of her and who was always thinking of others.

During her years at church, Dianne did everything from writing newsletters to coming out to comfort those who had lost loved ones or were dealing with challenges.

“That’s my biggest blessing in my life is to witness that kind of humanity,” Ben Travis said. “I hope the rest of my life will continue and keep that spirit alive.”

He said she was a member of the Eastside Baptist Church and in her spare time she enjoyed cross-stitching and was an avid reader who flipped through a book a day.

Carol Ann Hoard, who worked with Dianne Travis at First Baptist, described her as someone who was always professional and always dressed in a suit and heels.

“She loved her family. She loved Ben, her son,” Hoard said. “She was a hard worker, and when she started there were only typewriters, she had to move from typewriters to computers. She always seemed so professional, but she also had a fun side .

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday August 20 at the Eastside Baptist Church at 1165 Wyke Road in Shelby.

Rebecca Sitzes can be reached at [email protected]

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