Jane B. Wiley, a former registered nurse who helped establish the nursing program at Towson University and later earned a law degree and practiced family law for more than a decade, died Aug. 19 of a heart attack at the Edenwald retirement community in Towson. She was 79.
Jane Baker was born in Baltimore and raised in Waverly. After graduating from Eastern High School in 1946, she earned her nursing degree from the old Church Home and Hospital Nursing School in the late 1940s.
She began her nursing career in 1950, working for eight years for the Army and the National Security Agency at Fort Meade.
After taking several years off to raise her family, she returned to nursing in 1965 as a school nurse at the old Samuel Gompers School on North Avenue.
She then joined the faculty of Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School in 1971, where she taught aspiring nursing students for two years.
While teaching at Towson in the mid-1970s, Mrs. Wiley also worked part time at Maryland Shock Trauma Center to "remain connected to the craft she was teaching," said her son, Mark T. Wiley of Germantown.
She earned her law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1991, and after retiring from TU that year, made a career change. She established a family law practice in Towson and worked as a lawyer until 2003.
She volunteered for the Woman's Law Center for 15 years.
"She focused on helping other women who were experiencing legal issues, which she once did as a single mother of three," her son said.
She was an active communicant and chalicist of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter, 130 W. Seminary Ave., Lutherville, where funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. today.
Also surviving are a daughter, Susan Wiley of Wilmington, Del.; five brothers, Everett Baker of Towson, John Baker of San Francisco, James Baker of Bangor, Maine, David Baker of Hartford, Conn., and Daniel Baker of Towson; two sisters, Joanne Warder of Canton, Ohio, and Margaret Jennings of Washington, Pa.; and four grandchildren. Another daughter, Nancy Smallwood, died in 2002. Her marriages to Edward Wiley and Jack Smallwood ended in divorce.