Colleen Taylor Zaloga, 64, passed away on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at Western Maryland Regional Medical Center with her loving family by her side.
She was born on July 1, 1954 in North Adams, Massachusetts, to Natalie M. (Garofano) Taylor and the late Donald D. Taylor.
Colleen graduated from Saint Joseph's Regional High school in 1972 and received her Bachelors in Horticulture from UMASS in 1976. She loved flowers, taking nature walks, the beach and traveling, but most of all she loved her family.
Colleen had a love for teaching. Her career began teaching elementary children at St. Michael's Catholic School followed by 23 years at Mt. Savage School teaching life science before retiring in June 2016. She inspired and encouraged her students to do their very best. Her real gift was the compassion she bestowed upon her students and her genuine concern for their circumstances and well-being. For over 20 years, she advised the Student Helping Other People (SHOP) organization, distributing thousands of holiday food and gift baskets as well as planting and maintaining green spaces around the school. Through these activities, her students learned the importance and value of giving to others and the community. She went out of her way to help anyone who needed it and guided them in a positive, nurturing way. Colleen was the first to say, "What can I do to help?" or "How can I make your life better?" Colleen was a Mount Savage Teacher of the Year representative and influenced many young lives. Her kind-heartedness was felt by many of her students as well as those who were fortunate to have worked beside her. She was a beloved member of the faculty and will be missed by all who knew her.
Surviving are her husband of 41 years, Tony Zaloga; son, Nick Zaloga and wife Lori; daughter, Krysta Hostetler and husband Ryan; grandchildren, Kellan, Graham, and Eli Hostetler, Cole and Bodhi Zaloga; sisters; Donna Heptig and husband Bill, Maureen Flynn and husband Cornelius; brothers, James Taylor and wife Nancy, Jeffrey Taylor; brother-in-law, Steve Zaloga; nieces and nephews, Anna and Casey Flynn, Rachel Shue; many of her "friends family" kids she mentored and helped to raise.
Family and friends will be received at Durst Funeral Home, 57 Frost Avenue, Frostburg, on Saturday, April 27, 2019, from 10 am to 12 noon with a celebration of life will follow at noon with Deacon Harold Bradley officiating.
Colleen was cremated in accordance with her wishes.
The family would like to thank Dr. Blanche Mavromatis for her compassionate care as well as the staff of the Schwab Family Cancer Center. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations, in Colleen's name, be made to the Schwab Family Cancer Center, 12500 Willowbrook Road, Cumberland, MD 21502.
Words of comfort may be sent to the family following the obituary at www.durstfuneralhome.com.
Published on April 24, 2019