DURHAM – Jane Gregory Vogel died on Thursday, January 14, at Duke Hospital after a brief illness. She was born in Billings, Montana, on August 27, 1935, and spent her childhood in Pennsylvania and Iowa. After graduating from Earlham College in 1957 with a degree in Spanish, she moved to New York City where she received a nursing degree from Roosevelt Hospital. While living in New York, she also worked for the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization, as a translator. Jane enjoyed city life and the rich variety of experiences it offered, which for her included meeting Eleanor Roosevelt in a ladies room at the UN.
Jane worked for several years as a nurse in New York and Colorado before moving to North Carolina to attend graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she received a master’s degree in library science. In 1968 she began what was to be a twenty-six-year career as a research librarian at Duke University.
Many Duke library patrons became acquainted with Jane through one or more of the bibliographies she compiled, among them her “British Parliamentary Papers,” which was an invaluable guide through the maze of debates, journals, and sessional and command papers. The Readers Advisory Service published several of Jane’s bibliographies for national distribution. In 1985 Jane assumed responsibility for selecting materials for the library’s collections of psychology and Australian, British, Canadian, and French government publications.
Retirement in 1994 gave Jane the opportunity to devote more time to the travel she had enjoyed since, as a young woman, she had spent six weeks touring England on her own. After retiring, she traveled with her sister, friends, and her husband, Steve, a Duke University professor of biology. Jane and Steve enjoyed extended stays in Israel and India as well as explorations of many European countries, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and New Zealand. A highlight of Jane’s travels was seeing the diverse wildlife of the Galápagos Islands living free of human intervention.
The pleasure Jane found in travel she also found in gardening. She especially delighted in her irises and roses, always red. Together, Jane and Steve cared for a fig tree, and Jane’s friends waited eagerly every year to receive their share of the pickled figs she made. Jane tended a vegetable garden annually, making sure to plant several varieties of lettuces and, as a tribute to her Iowa childhood, corn, which she shared with the neighborhood raccoons.
Jane’s fondness for animals found its deepest expression in her affection for the succession of cats she cared for. The last, and perhaps most memorable, was Sam, the subject of poems Jane and her sister Mary wrote and shared with each other. Jane shared a passion for basketball with her son Roger, and was an avid Duke Basketball fan.
Jane and Steve were connoisseurs of classical music and regularly attended concerts presented in the Duke Chamber Arts Society series as well as performances by the Ciompi Quartet and the Mallarmé Chamber Players. Jane and Steve were also voracious and discerning readers of both fiction and non-fiction.
In 2011 Jane and Steve moved to Croasdaile Village in Durham. There, Jane was a member of the swim group and the memoir-writing class, which enabled her to give expression to another long-time interest. Early in her retirement she had edited her maternal grandmother’s diary of life on an Illinois farm in the 1890s.
Jane Vogel was predeceased by her husband Steven Vogel, who died on November 24, 2015. Jane will continue to live in the hearts of her friends and loved ones, including her sister Mary Henderson (Minneapolis, MN), her son and daughter-in-law Roger and Frances Vogel and grandchildren, Booth, Avery and Flora Jane Vogel (Tucker, GA), and nephew Chris Henderson, his wife Janet and their daughters (Leonardstown, MD). Gifts in Jane’s memory may be sent to the Eno River Association, online at enoriver.org or by mail to 4404 Guess Road, Durham, NC 27712.
Arrangements for the Vogel family are under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Online condolences www.hallwynne.com.