Edna Whitley Spruill

Published 7:23 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Edna Whitley Spruill

March 13, 1921 – March 10, 2015


Edna Taylor Whitley Spruill died March 10, 2015 in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Oaks at Whitaker Glen, the retirement community to which she had moved in July 2010. She was a native of Washington, North Carolina where she lived most of her life.

Born March 13, 1921 to Edward Jesse Whitley and Mamie Taylor Whitley, she died just three days short of her 94th birthday. She married Jesse Julian Spruill on July 28, 1946. He predeceased her in 1985. She was educated in the Washington and Chocowinity schools and at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.  A former secretary with the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management Area A, she retired after twenty years of service.

Edna Spruill was an active and much beloved member of the First Christian Church of Washington, N.C. She served as an elder, a deaconess, a Christian Women’s Fellowship group leader, and a Sunday school teacher.

A kind and loving person, she doted on her family and was adored by them and the many friends she made throughout her life in Washington as well as the new friends she made in Raleigh in her last years. She looked for the good in everyone and was encouraging and thoughtful, remembering birthdays and sending notes and cards to mark important occasions, making sure people knew that she loved them and cared about them. She enjoyed reading novels and history, kept up with current events until the day she died, supported progressive causes and social justice, and voted in every election. She took particular pleasure in shopping with her daughters, walking on the Washington waterfront, showing off her collection of silly socks, tending the flowers on her terrace, getting together with her WG friends for Friday “Five O’Clocks,” cooking and eating good food especially her famous fruitcake, and celebrating Christmas – her favorite time of the year.

Surviving are her two daughters and two sons-in-law, Carol Spruill and Jack Nichols of Raleigh, N.C. and Marjorie Spruill and Don Doyle of Columbia, S.C.; four grandsons, Jackson Spruill Nichols of Washington, D.C. and his wife Jane Nichols; Charles Spruill Nichols of Raleigh, N.C. and his wife Julie Hafer; Scott Spruill Wheeler of Los Angeles, California; and Jesse Spruill Wheeler of Washington, D.C.; two step-granddaughters, Carrie Doyle and her husband Matt Baker of San Francisco; Kelly Doyle DeWitt and her husband Ned DeWitt of San Diego; and three step-grandchildren, Charlie Baker and Jackson and Caroline DeWitt; a sister, Marjorie Whitley Sumrell of Nags Head, N.C.; and many nieces and nephews.

The funeral will take place in Washington, N.C. at Paul Funeral Home, 900 John Small Avenue, at 2:00 Saturday, March 14 with interment next to her late husband in Oakdale Cemetery. The family will receive friends between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Friday night at Paul Funeral Home, which is in charge of the arrangements. Rev. Carol Steffa, former Associate Minister of the First Christian Church in Washington, will officiate.

Serving as pallbearers are her two sons-in-law, her four grandsons, her nephew Robbie Rose, and neighbor and friend Milton Dail, Jr.

Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.paulfuneralhome.com

Paul Funeral Home & Crematory of Washington is honored to serve the Spruill family.