Lael Wyckoff Jackson passed away peacefully on the morning of September 10 at the Hock Pavilion in Durham after a long and courageous battle against cancer. She was 63 years old. Lael is survived by her devoted husband of 31 years, David Bristol Jackson; she was predeceased by her parents Samuel T. and Joan McCormick Wyckoff and her sister Jill Wyckoff McCarney. She also leaves behind her beloved Maltese dogs Leo and Lilie who often visited her during her last days.
Lael was born on August 19, 1951 in New York City and spent her early years with her family in Huntington and Syosset on Long Island. During her teen years she lived with her family in Houston, Texas. She attended Duke University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 1973. She also received a master’s in nursing administration from Duke.
From her earliest years Lael had always wanted to be a nurse, and she was a wonderful nurse. She was in charge of the nursing orthopedic services of the operating room area at Duke University Medical Center where she worked for 22 years. Following that she was the nurse manager of the operating room at the Veterans’ Administration Hospital in Durham for 13 years. Lael claimed that she never retired--she was always still a nurse.
Lael loved reading, holistic health, travelling (many US states including Alaska; Canada, Greece, France, Ireland, Iceland, South America, Mexico, Panama), and Topsail Beach. A few days ago she described a walk she had just made (in her mind) to the Point at Topsail Beach.
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Lael and David are members of Epworth United Methodist Church (which David had already attended when it met at the old Hope Valley School). There will be a Celebration of Lael’s Life at Epworth on September 24 at 11 AM with a prior visitation at 10:30. In lieu of flowers the family asks that a donation in Lael’s name be made to the Hock Pavilion, the American Cancer Society, or the charity of one’s choice.
The family would like to thank all Lael’s friends who showed their love and concern these past weeks. The family would particularly like to thank Dr. Gretchen Kimmick and her nurse Jessica Robertson, William Lyons, the staff at the Hock Pavilion, and Lael’s friend Patricia Skinner, who stayed by her side constantly during her last days.