Remembering Jill Leckey

Jill Amanda Leckey
1981 – 2023

The School of Nursing mourns the loss of 2023 PhD graduate, Jill Amanda Leckey, who lost her battle against Eosinophilic Disease in May. Jill was a longstanding and highly valued member of our community. She is remembered for her dedication to both the field of nursing and her passion for making a positive impact on the lives of others.

As we reflect on the profound impact of Jill Amanda Leckey’s life and legacy following her passing, it becomes evident that her influence extended far beyond her academic and professional pursuits. Professor SeonAe Yeo, WHNP-BC, PhD, FAAN, encapsulates this sentiment beautifully: “Jill possessed the qualities of a remarkable scholar and a mentor in the field of nursing. She not only enriched her own knowledge but also imparted invaluable lessons on how to be an authentic and respectful teacher and student. Her influence reached the very core of my professional life, and I felt an immense sense of pride in my chosen profession as I approached my retirement, thanks to her.”

Adding to this heartfelt remembrance, Cheryl B. Jones, RN, PhD, FAAN, shared her perspective on Jill’s impact, saying: Dr. Leckey was a source of support for so many, and a beloved daughter, sibling, and human being. Of course, she was an impressive scientist, scholar, nurse, and student – but she was a dear friend and colleague, tireless patient advocate, and so much more. Jill chose nursing as a second career, because she wanted to use her voice and her own experiences to improve the lives of patients. She was well-known to several of our undergraduate and PhD faculty who taught her during both of her degree programs, and she was cherished undergraduate and PhD students and alumni. This quote submitted by one of her PhD student peers demonstrates the impact that Jill had on our PhD community:

“Jill was the most selfless and kind person I have ever met. During the tough and happy times, she was always there to provide a smile, delicious homemade treats, and any help she could give. I can’t thank her enough for all that she did for me over the past few years, and I hope to emulate the same kindness she showed me with others I meet along the way.”

Jill made a lasting impression on so many. Although her time on this earth was short, she will be long remembered for the love, kindness, compassion, and caring shared with so many. We hope you will join our School of Nursing and PhD Program as we celebrate Jill’s life, remember her family, friends, and loved ones, and carry on her legacy of love, kindness, caring, and compassion that we will hold dear.


Originally published by Walker’s Funeral Home

Jill Leckey lost her longtime fight against Eosinophilic Disease on May 24, 2023. She was 41 years old. 

Jill was born on November 10, 1981, in Pittsburgh, PA.  She most recently received her Doctorate in Nursing from UNC Chapel Hill on May 12, 2023.  She received her BA in Romance Languages and a BSN in Nursing, also from UNC Chapel Hill.  Jill was also an accomplished professional Pastry Chef having graduated from The French Culinary Institute in New York City. 

Between her years of studies, Jill worked several jobs in a variety of fields.  She worked for Jacques Torres Chocolates in NYC, Confetti Cakes in NYC, and she was the wedding cake designer, baker and chocolatier for Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, NC.  In addition, Jill taught Pastry Arts at Wake Tech in Raleigh, NC.  After moving on to a career in nursing, Jill worked in the cardiac OR at UNC hospital which led to her doctoral studies. 

Jill was an avid runner and completed many races, most notably the NYC Marathon to celebrate her 30th birthday and to raise money for CURED (Campaign Urging Research for Eosinophilic Disease). That was Jill. She didn’t just run the race, she made sure to help others in the process. 

In her spare time, when she had any, Jill enjoyed baking for friends, volunteering to raise money for her favorite charities by sewing quilts and donating hand-made dog collars, leashes and bows. She loved rollercoasters and especially going to Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh with friends and family. She also appreciated a good true-crime drama, especially Dateline. From middle school until present day, Jill loved playing the oboe and had been part of a UNC community orchestra. 

In recent years, Eosinophilic Disease left Jill unable to enjoy a lot of her favorite food and drinks. To honor her, go enjoy a pizza with a good beer or red wine. Sip a gin and tonic with a friend. Savor a good meal with loved ones and spare a thought for Jill. She’d love that. 

Jill is survived by her parents, Bruce and Cindy Leckey, her twin sister Courtney Schoultz and husband Nils, and was beloved “Auntie Jill” to Kurt and Ella. She is also survived by many aunts, uncles and cousins. 

Jill’s beloved dog Lucy, who she rescued 2-1/2 years ago, now resides with her grandparents, Bruce and Cindy.

Memorials may be made to either (Campaign Urging Research for Eosinophilic Disease) or (The rescue where Jill found Lucy). 

Many have asked what they can do. Jill would want you to go out and be kind and compassionate to others. That’s how she lived her life.