DURHAM: After a period of declining health, Mary Jane Wallace Credle, 75, died Thursday at the home of her daughter, Claudia Brueckner.
Mary Jane was the youngest daughter of the late Paul Grady Wallace and Elizabeth Rollins Wallace. Born and raised in Durham, Mary Jane grew up on Seeman Street and had many happy memories of what nearby downtown Durham had to offer during her childhood. She graduated from Durham High School in 1953. She attended what was then Brenau College in Gainesville, Georgia, where she was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha women’s fraternity, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1958.
Mary Jane met her future husband when neighbor and local Durham piano teacher, Felicia Sears, introduced her to Edward Cecil Credle. Mary Jane remembered being relieved that Edward was tall. Mary Jane and Edward were married November 9, 1957 in Immaculate Conception Church, of which they were longtime members. They acknowledged Felicia Sears’ influence in their lives by naming their first child after her.
Between raising four children and being a homemaker, Mary Jane participated in various civic activities over the years; in particular a long membership in Catholic Daughters of the Americas, which named her “Catholic Daughter of the Year” twice for Durham Court 1576. She was a Eucharistic Minister at Immaculate Conception. For many years, she and Ed could be relied on to count the money from the Sunday mass collections. Mary Jane was a past volunteer at the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh’s Avila Retreat Center. She also enjoyed her time on the board of directors for the Herald-Sun newspaper, when it was still owned by her family.
No reflection on Mary Jane’s life would be complete without a mention of three of her favorite things: dancing, Bridge and cats. The joy and friendship shared at many Toppers or Beaux Arts dances delighted Mary Jane year after year. And she always looked forward to catching up with the ladies of her Bridge club, many of whom she had known since they were all young brides with small children. Her love of cats began as a girl and continued throughout Mary Jane’s life. Cherished pets Dolly and Plato gave her and Ed many years of smiles and companionship.
Mary Jane is survived by her husband, Edward; daughter and son-in-law, Felicia Elizabeth McGaley and Conor McGaley of Larchmont, New York; daughter and son-in-law, Claudia Ellen Brueckner and Mark Brueckner of Durham; daughter, Melanie Christina Credle of Durham; son and daughter-in-law, Eric Scott Credle and Jennifer Credle of Durham; grandchildren, Emma Brueckner at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, Olivia Brueckner of Durham, Nicholas and Matthew Credle of Durham, Colum and Edward McGaley of Larchmont, New York; sister and brother-in-law, Suzanne and Cecil Godwin of Durham, sister, Betsy Rollins Wallace of Durham; nieces, Robin Godwin of Durham, and Meredith Wellendorf of Raleigh.
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered 3:30 PM Monday from Immaculate Conception Church. A graveside service will be 2:00 PM Tuesday in Maplewood Cemetery. Friends may visit 4-6 PM Sunday at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Animal Protection Society of Durham, 2117 E. Club Blvd, Durham, 27704 or Avila Retreat Center, 711 Mason Rd. Durham 27712.