Cover photo for Jane Elizabeth Bruer's Obituary
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1957 Jane 2023

Jane Elizabeth Bruer

July 25, 1957 — May 17, 2023

Jane Elizabeth Bruer, age 65, died on May 17th in Durham, North Carolina. On learning she had cancer twelve years earlier, Jane brought to each day thereafter the hope and determination to remain engaged in life: to find something joyful in each day, to care for those she loved, and to pursue her many interests until the end.

Jane’s parents, Charles and Dorothy (Christ) Dickoff lived in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, when they welcomed Jane to life on July 25, 1957, joining her brothers Steve and Mike and her sister Mary Ann.

After a brief time in Michigan, the Dickoff family moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, when Jane was two years old. She attended Immaculate Conception School and graduated from Regis High School in 1975.

From a very young age, Jane aspired to become a teacher, and with her aptitude for piano and voice, there was little doubt that her subject would be music. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1979. Her gratitude to her parents for providing this opportunity was deep and life long. She received a Masters of Music Education at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro in 2001. She became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2009.

Over her forty year career in the classroom, she shared her passion for music with thousands of students. Upon graduating from Lawrence, she began her career as the chorus director at Bethlehem Academy in Faribault, Minnesota. Five years followed at Edgewood Campus School in Madison, Wisconsin. After moving to North Carolina in 1986, she taught at several schools in the Durham County and, later, the Durham Public Schools systems, including Glenn Elementary, Mangum Primary Center, Easley Elementary, Holt Elementary, Durham School for the Arts, and Githens Middle School. She retired from Githens in 2019 after teaching middle school chorus there for seventeen years.

On June 5, 1982, Jane married Patrick Bruer, a friend since their high school days, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. They shared nearly forty one years of constant companionship and total devotion.

Jane’s survivors include her beloved husband Patrick, brothers Steve Dickoff (Dona Phillips) of Eau Claire, WI and Mike (Betsy) Dickoff of Minnetonka, MN, nephews and niece John (Julianna Simon) Dickoff of Austin, TX, Meghan (David) Blodgett of Madison, WI, Matthew Dickoff (fiancee Emma Kennedy) of San Francisco, CA, John Bruer (Judith Lattimer) of Newton, MA, Matthew Bruer of Seattle, WA, and their families. Her father and mother, Charles and Dorothy, an infant brother, David, and her sister Mary Ann preceded her in death.

Visitation will take place from 5 until 7 pm Thursday, June 1st at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service in Durham. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 am on Friday, June 2nd at the Catholic Community of St. Thomas More in Chapel Hill.

Memorials may be made to Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, WI; to Eyes, Ears, Nose and Paws of Hillsborough, NC (which supports the training of assistance dogs); to Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue; or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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