Martha Jane (Jane) Cheek Willett-Cromer, 89, formerly of Gulf, N.C., passed away on Saturday, November 9, surrounded by family. Jane was born November 14, 1929, the daughter of John Kilmer Cheek, Sr. and Flossie Hilliard Cheek. She was preceded in death by her parents and husband of 47 years, Howard H. Willett, Sr., her husband of 12 years, Paul E. Cromer, and a brother, John Kilmer Cheek, Jr. She is survived by three sons, Howard H. Willett, Jr. (Rita) of Goldston, Robert K. Willett (Lois) of Sanford, and John Cheek Willett of Sanford; step-daughter, Lana Cromer of Wilmington; four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; a sister, Sims Cheek Poindexter (Bill) of Pittsboro and sister-in-law, Barbara Nell Cheek of Goldston.
Jane was born and raised in Goldston. She graduated as salutatorian in 1947 from Goldston High School where she was a member of the Beta Club, a cheerleader, first editor of the school yearbook, and a member of the first graduating class to attend twelve years of school. After graduation, she married her high school sweetheart, Howard H. Willett, Sr. and raised a family of three boys. She later graduated from Sanford Business College with honors. Jane worked as a bookkeeper, and as an office manager at Townsends, Inc. in Siler City and served as Vice President of H. H. Willett, Inc. in Sanford for 50 years. She was a member of Bethany Baptist Church for 62 years where she served her Lord as Deacon, Adult Sunday School teacher, Young People Sunday School Teacher, and Girls Auxiliary leader. She had a flair for decorating and was an excellent cook and seamstress. Jane and her siblings co-authored The Family of Ezekiel Hilliard 1801-1922, which was researched and compiled by their mother Flossie. It won the 1993 Family Book of the Year Award from the N. C. Historical Society. She and her husband, Howard, were instrumental in the establishment of Willett Ministries in Sanford which includes the Mercer Home and the Lanier Home, both of which are ministries of Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina. Jane also served for many years on the board of directors of Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina.
A celebration of life will be held Tuesday, November 12 at Bethany Baptist Church in Gulf, N.C. at 11:00 a.m. preceded by visitation at 10:00 a.m. Burial will follow the service at the Goldston Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina, DDM Ministry, Box 338, Thomasville, N. C. 27360.
Smith & Buckner Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Online condolences may be made at www.pughfuneralhome.com.