Jane Woodley Spruill

September 19, 1954 - November 08, 2022


Obituary For Jane Woodley Spruill

Jane Spruill, loving wife, mother, and grandmother passed away Tuesday, November 8, after a brave battle with lymphoma. She is survived by her husband, Murray, her daughter Joanna (Adam Kovalcik), her grandson Owen, and many special cousins and friends. Jane loved her family, dedicated her life seeing to their needs and doing all she could to secure their happiness.

Jane graduated from Creswell High School. She received a BS degree in Home Economics from East Carolina University, a master’s degree and a PhD degree in Human Development from The University of Maryland, College Park. While she held numerous positions: teacher, 4-H agent, lecturer, she saw her primary role as her family caretaker. At that, she did excel.

Jane was a proud mother of Joanna. She was involved in her life, volunteering at schools, running her to piano lessons, practices, and encouraging her. She taught Joanna how to be the smart, independent, nurturing person she is today. In high school, she chauffeured Joanna and friends to basketball games, cheering them on. When Joanna was sick with breast cancer, Jane was with her at every step. Knitting hats, cooking, cleaning, and even finding Joanna and Adam a house just down the street from her! Jane delighted in her grandson Owen and taught him to dribble a basketball, hit a pickle ball, build sandcastles, ride a tricycle, and cook. He loved grabbing her iPad and would crawl up in her lap to watch family videos and pictures. While Jane was an only child, she readily embraced Murray’s large and affectionate family. She loved them, looked after them and was generous with them. She adored her cousin Mary Ruth and enjoyed her conversations with both Mary Ruth and Sue, her cousin Sam's wife. She was always sending them pictures of Owen and was happy they loved receiving them.

Jane would admit she was not athletic, but she was an avid sports fan. She loved to watch most any sport - tennis, football, basketball, particularly college basketball. She was always texting her son-in-law during the games to point out mistakes, plays, and to make sure he was watching. She would call and remind friends when particular matches and games were on. During games where “her teams” were playing she was always arguing with the refs, the coach, and kept a running commentary on the plays.

Jane was loving, caring, and a pro-organizer. If there was someone in need she was there with food and visits. No one she loved did without. She carried her homemade chicken pot pies to the sick. If you were in need, she was there with a meal or organizing one for you. She was a wonderful cook and was always ready to bake. When she was healthy, you could generally find homemade chocolate chip cookie batter in the freezer so she could bake Murray a warm cookie just whenever he wanted or needed one. Her friends have indicated that they will miss her laughter, the way she could conjure up memories from long ago and describe her as “the best of us.” Another said, “to know her is to love her.” She was smart, funny, and loyal! She will be missed.

A celebration of her life will be held at North Raleigh United Methodist Church on Friday, November 10 at 11 am, where she was a member and active in the Women’s Group. A graveside service will be held Saturday, November 12, at 1pm in Creswell, NC.

Memorials can be made to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer outreach and research or to her church. Condolences: RFHR.com


10 Nov


05:00 PM - 07:00 PM

Renaissance Funeral Home 7615 Six Forks Road Raleigh, NC 27615 Get Directions »
11 Nov

Funeral Service

11:00 AM

North Raleigh United Methodist Church 8501 Honeycutt Road Raleigh, NC Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • 07/15/2023

    Murray and Joanna, I just got my EAST magazine and saw the memorial for Jane. I am crushed. I have thought of her so many times over the last 40+ years and wanted to reconnect but as is typical, life got in the way. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers and I will never forget her or her contagious smile. We had many, many good times at ECU and in the School of H.E. I will always treasure the time I knew her. Maybe I can try to connect with you all one of the times we are in Raleigh for ballgames. Thinking of you both! Daphne (Jones) Pollock, Kinston NC

  • 11/10/2022

    Joanna, It is with great sadness that I learned of your Mom's death. I remember your family with such vividness. You were so fortunate to have such a caring and energetic Mom. Please know my thoughts, prayers and heart are with you Love, DB (Cynthia Brown)

  • 11/10/2022

    I am so saddened by Jane's passing. I have many fond memories of her at church and especially being a choir supporter for Murray and all the cantata rehearsals. May you feel the love and comfort friends and family.

  • 11/10/2022

    Murray and Joanna, Rob and I are sending you both our love, hugs, and prayers. We are thinking of you at this time of great loss. Jane was an amazing woman, and the best hostess bar none. The memories of her kindness, her laughter, her easy smile, and warmth live on. I will never forget, Murray, that you and Jane were there for me on the morning I received the phone call that my mom had passed away unexpectedly or the touching personal note Jane sent me a few weeks later at precisely the exact time I needed words of strength and encouragement. She was taken too soon, but she made such a lasting impact on the lives of everyone she met. With love, Michelle Cunningham and Rob Pratt

  • 11/10/2022

    Murray & Joanna...when I think of her, two things I remember most..her laughter and her beautiful gift of hospitality - always ready to open wide her home and her heart to those who passed through her door! I am so very sorry for your loss.

  • 11/10/2022

    Joana and Murray, We are so very sorry for your loss. Your mom (Jane) was such a kind, genuine, down to earth person. Just thinking of her brings back so many happy memories of our time living on Steamerbell Row. I still make her famous apple cake and always give her the credit when friends rave about how good it is! She was so generous in sharing! I'll also miss talking about what gingerbread house mold was used- log cabin or Victorian! We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers and hope happy memories will help you through this difficult time. Sending hugs. Love, The Wheltle's

  • 11/10/2022

    Dear Murray and Joanna, I am so sorry to hear of your devastating loss. You have my deepest sympathy. -Kathy Coulter

  • 11/09/2022

    I am heartbroken to hear about this. Jane was such a beautiful lady. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.


  • Heavenly & Harmony

    Heavenly & Harmony was sent for Jane Woodley Spruill - November 10, 2022

  • Here Comes The Sun

    Gail Wheltle sent Here Comes The Sun for Jane Woodley Spruill - November 10, 2022

    Your mom's (Jane's) love will live in your heart forever. Thinking of you. Love, Tom, Gail, Maggie and Greg Wheltle

  • The Sweetest Touch

    The Sweetest Touch was sent for Jane Woodley Spruill - November 10, 2022

  • Heavenly & Harmony

    Heavenly & Harmony was sent for Jane Woodley Spruill - November 10, 2022

  • Stately Croton

    Stately Croton was sent for Jane Woodley Spruill - November 10, 2022

  • Pastel Harmony

    Pastel Harmony was sent for Jane Woodley Spruill - November 10, 2022

  • Fall Fantasia

    Fall Fantasia was sent for Jane Woodley Spruill - November 10, 2022

  • Sweet Tranquility Basket

    Kelly Williamson sent Sweet Tranquility Basket for Jane Woodley Spruill - November 09, 2022

    Murray and JoAnna- Sending all my love in this time of loss. My thoughts are with you both. Kelly Williamson

  • Eternal Light Standing Spray

    Alston & Bird sent Eternal Light Standing Spray for Jane Woodley Spruill - November 09, 2022

    Dear Murray and Joanna, Our deepest condolences - we are so sorry for your loss of of your dear wife and mother, Jane. You are in our thoughts and prayers. - Your Friends at Alston & Bird

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