Celebrating the life of

Janet Teresa Spillane

Passed away on February 13, 2020

Janet Teresa Spillane

Janet Teresa Spillane died Thursday, February 13, 2020. The Lakeland, Florida native was born May 23, 1926 to Thomas R. Spillane and Elizabeth Morgan Spillane.

A resident of Savannah since 1937, she graduated from St. Vincent’s Academy and Armstrong Junior College (now Armstrong Atlantic State University). She received her BS degree in Chemistry, with honors, from Fontbonne College, St. Louis, MO and St. Louis University, where she was elected to Phi Mu Epsilon and Kappa Gamma Pi National Honor Societies.

Ms. Spillane was employed by the U.S. Public Health Service, CDC, Technical Development Laboratories on Oatland Island, retiring with 25 years of service when the laboratory moved to Atlanta in 1973. She was co-discoverer with the late Dr. George Pearce and the late Dr. Arnold Mattson of the insecticide DDVP, used in such diverse applications as aircraft disinsewction, flea collars and mosquito control in third world countries. She co-authored seventeen scientific papers primarily in the fields of analytical chemistry and biochemistry.

As a member of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, she established a field station laboratory in Wenatchee, Washington in 1950 to investigate the effect of the aerial application if insecticides on the duster pilots.

In 1974, she was employed by the City of Savannah to establish and manage the laboratory at the President Street Water Pollution Control Plant, retiring in 1990.

Ms. Spillane was a long-time member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, where she had served on the Parish Board and as a member of the choir. She was a charter member and first secretary-treasurer of the Coastal Georgia Section of the American Chemical Society. She was also a charter member of Women in the Military Service of America (WIMSA), and her service is noted at the WIMSA memorial in Arlington Cemetery. She served several times on the board of directors of Armstrong Jr. College Alumni Association, was a member of Historic Savannah, and the National Association of Retired Federal Employees.

Predeceased, in addition to her parents, are a brother, Thomas M. Spillane, and nieces, Bonnie Spillane Hall and Teresa Spillane.

Survivors include brother, Charles B. Spillane, Sr. (Brenda); sister-in-law, Marilyn H. Spillane; nephew, Charles B. Spillane, Jr. (Margaret); 3 nieces, Susan Spillane Lai (Ken), Jan Spillane Erickson (Jon), all of Savannah, and Marilyn Spillane Hodges, Richmond Hill; step-nephew, Robert Hayner, Charleston, SC; step-niece, Deirdre Green Warlick, Charlotte, NC; several grand-nieces, grand-nephews, great-grand nieces and great-grand nephews.

The visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Monday, February 17, 2020 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church with a Rosary Service at 6:00 p.m.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. Burial will follow in the Greenwich Section of Bonaventure Cemetery.

The family requests the memorials be sent to St. Vincent’s Academy, 201 East Liberty St., Savannah, GA 31401, Carmelite Monastery, 111 West Back St., Savannah, GA 31419, or a charity of the donor’s choice.





Please accept my deepest sympathy on the death of Janet. She was a dear friend of my mother, Betty Halligan, and my aunt Stasia Colvin....she and Stasia visited me when I was living in Germany....I worked summers during college at the CDC lab in Savannah..Janet and I often had lunch together....a truly wonderful and accomplished woman.

- Anne Halligan Horstman, Madison, GA

I am the Best & Greatest Godchild my Godmother Janet ever had!!!! She never forgot my birthdays or Christmases! Always new when I hit achievements (many were just lucky!) My mother Maria Murphy was her big Sister at Fontbonne college, Janet never Rated her out for putting gold fish in the Nun's fish fountain who consumed all the other fish! The Nuns held a lock-down trying to find the guilty party!!! Mom said Janet stayed "Tight Lipped!" They were great friends and part of our family ever since. I asked Janet if she could visit my Mom in Hilton Head, S.C. recovering from cancer treatment in the spring of 2001, she couldn't drive & Susan was happy to bring her. Janet's visit was a priceless memory for me as I witnessed, they both hugged, cried & enjoyed their time together. This was a wonderful surprise to Mom, she loved seeing Janet very much. My mother passed 3 months later, I knew how happy we made my Mother that day in Hilton Head! I will miss her very much. Go with Grace my sweet Janet.

- Michael P Murphy, Sr, EUFAULA, AL

Maria Murphy and Janet will have fun reorganizing Heaven. Janet was mom's best buddy. Take care and God bless you all, Jay Murphy

- Jay Murphy, Chapin, SC

So sorry for your loss

- Kristi Lambrecht, Omaha, Nebraska

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel