Moira Talan Dwyer

The Canyon ChronicleBy The Canyon Chronicle

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Moira Talan Dwyer
“Topanga,” Moira Talan told a New York Times reporter last fall, “is kind of a crystal place.” Ms. Talan — who taught at Wilbur Avenue Elementary, and Porter Ranch Community School before moving to Topanga Elementary several years ago — had a decade-long tradition of bringing her students to the annual Gem-O-Rama at Searles Lake in the Mojave Desert. The six-hour roundtrip drive to explore and interact with the astonishing beauty of the natural crystals is symbolic of the intrepid vigor she brought into her life as an educator, parent, and friend.  A proud Topanga resident, for whom the canyon’s hikes and shops felt like home long before she finally moved from Tarzana to the Top O’ Topanga community in 2017, Ms. Talan passed away peacefully at home on Friday, June 26, with her two sons at her side. After complications from cancer led to a hospitalization earlier this spring, Ms. Talan chose to suspend treatment in order to more fully enjoy her days, including celebrating her sixtieth birthday on April 27. Even as her health declined, she approached every moment with the same grace and levity that her loved ones and students adored. Ms. Talan lived her entire life in Southern California, where she raised her boys to treat the region’s beaches and mountains with the same lighthearted reverence she brought into holiday cooking and lively conversation. Her close friends, who came from the many communities she belonged to, were family for Moira and she treated them as such. An infinite learner who never took life more seriously than necessary, she managed to thrive even when dealing with life’s most chaotic challenges. Her physical presence will be deeply missed but her candid honesty and brave spirit will forever remain crystallized in the hearts of those who were lucky enough to know her.  —Alex Dwyer.

Losing My Friend

Losing a friend is never easy but losing my friend and coworker Moira Talon is such a huge loss, not only for me, but for our Topanga Community, especially for our Topanga Elementary community. I will miss my friend and colleague. We only met in 2016, when Moira started teaching at school, but clicked instantly sharing educational philosophy, love of teaching and our students. We also moved to the Top ‘O Topanga community at the same time, enjoying walks in the neighborhood, swimming at the pool, and just sharing a meal. I am grateful that I got to talk to her (through her window) shortly before she passed. There is a hole in my heart, but gratitude too, for sharing four years with Moira, a special person and dear friend.
—Amy Weisberg M.Ed..
The Canyon Chronicle

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July 24, 2020