On February 4, 2021, Jane Stevens Hobbs McPhaul passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family. Jane was born February 3, 1927 in Wilmington, NC, to Julius C. and Maude Elizabeth (Player) Hobbs. Jane was predeceased by her husband of 52 years, John “Jack” Archibald McPhaul. 

After graduating from Flora McDonald College and starting her career as a teacher, she married Jack on August 27, 1949. They moved to Southern Pines in 1955 and spent the rest of their lives contributing to the community. Jane received a Master of Education from UNC Chapel Hill in 1965, and continued graduate level studies at other universities. Jack was her greatest cheerleader in all of her many endeavors. 

A life-long educator, she served as a public school teacher, guidance counselor, and as the director of the Life Career Development Center at Sandhills Community College. She was instrumental in bringing Sandhills Community College to Moore County as the first Community College in NC. She helped found the local branch of the American Association of University Women, the Democratic Women of Moore County, the Sandhills Horticultural Society, Mill Prong Preservation, and the Arts Council of Moore County. Jane was a member of the Alfred Moore Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, the Gamma Sigma Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, the Long Leaf Garden Club, Scottish Heritage USA, Three Rivers Land Trust, the Moore County Historical Association and the Sandhills Community College Summa Group. She served on the Board of the First Health Foundation (Scroll Group), was a Girl Scout troop leader and Red Cross First Aid Instructor. Jane was a member, Elder and Stephen Minister of Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church. She was also honored by being named a Life Member of the Women of the Church. In 1985 she received The Order of the Longleaf Pine from the Governor of North Carolina in recognition of her community contributions. She was also recognized as “Woman of the Year” by the Community Foundation in 2011. 

She was beloved by her many friends and her extensive family. Her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren mourn her passing and celebrate her legacy. She is survived by her daughter, Jane Player McPhaul of Southern Pines and her children, Lydia Toon Laboccetta (Mark, parents of Tallulah Gunn and Bea Merina), Robert Andre Fleury, Jr. (Grace, parents of Elizabeth Player, Amelia Grace, Robert Andre III, Charles Elliot), Jane Hunter Fleury (John Manning, parents of Nina Jean, Julius David), Elizabeth Kerr Fleury-Rabinowitz (Marc); and by her daughter Marian Toon McPhaul of Southern Pines, and her children, Thomas Benjamin Chester (Molly), John Toon Chester (Bethany); and her son, Julius C. Hobbs McPhaul of Marion (Elizabeth)and their children, Andrew David DiSanto, Elisabeth Lea Crisp (Bryon, parents of Matthew); and her son, John Archibald McPhaul III of Chapel Hill (Nina), and their children, Phineas Tiller, Mary Meakin. 

The family is planning a private graveside service. 

In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Mill Prong Preservation, Inc., PO Box 220554, Charlotte, NC, 28222, The Sandhills Horticultural Society, 3395 Airport Road, Southern Pines, NC, 28374, or to the charity of your choice. Please consider continuing her legacy by becoming involved in a community effort. 

Online condolences may be made at pinesfunerals.com.

The family is being assisted by Fry and Prickett Funeral Home, Carthage, N.C. 

Tribute Video

Memories Timeline


  1. What an incredible lady! I will miss her smiling face. She was such a part of my growing in Southern Pines and such a great part of my children’s growing in Southern Pines, too. Hard to think of This place without her. Our love and Prayers are with all of you as our lives move forward with her directing thinks from Heaven.

  2. Lady Jane was the most remarkable person I have ever known. She blessed so many. She was a true light in this world who will forever shine through her amazing family. She lived a wonderful life, and she will be greatly missed. Sending love and prayers to all of the family.

  3. Player,
    You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Your mother was such a kind lady. I met her before I ever met you. I fondly remember her smile and her cheerful personality. Blessings!

  4. Your mom was one of the sweetest people – she was always so helpful and kind. I don’t think I would have kept my job at Scottish Heritage if it weren’t for Jane. I am so lucky to have met her and through her, your lovely family. She will certainly be missed by many.

  5. When Marty and i moved here 27 years ago, Jane and John and the entire McPhaul/Hobbs clan opened up both their homes and their hearts to us and welcomed us into their lives. The southern pines home was the hub of activity and life. Jane was always the most gracious of hosts. We will always be most grateful!

  6. When marty and I moved here 27 years ago, jane and john welcomed us and opened up their home and family to us. The McPhauls/Hobbs gave us many laughing moments and we will always be grateful to the times spent with them. Jane was the most gracious and loving host!

  7. Words are not adequate to fully express my sorrow for the loss of your wonderful grandparent Jane McPhaul and the admiration and respect I had for her and all she did to help other people. She was such a remarkable person with so much dedication and energy for serving others.
    We will all miss her so much and are unlikely to find anyone who can begin to replace her dedication and devotion to others.
    She will always be in our thoughts and prayers.
    Most Sincerely
    Bob Collier Jr.

  8. Player and family:
    I met your mother through you Player when she opened your family home for your coworkers to gather. After that I saw Jane at many community functions. She was gracious, friendly and involved in whatever activity I saw her. My interactions with her were brief but they were enough to make a wonderful, lasting impression.

  9. Dear Player, I mourn the loss of your mother too. You and she were so kind to me and Lea after our precious Dayton was born. You graciously invited me to stay with you, and I loved getting to know you and your mother. She was so gracious and lovely, a true Southern lady. Her kindness and caring was a comfort and a joy in my life. I will always be grateful for that time and the memories we had together. It was a blessing I cherish. My love to you and your family.

  10. She will be missed. One of my fondest memories of her was meeting her at Sandhills Community College so many years ago. She was thoughtful and kind. A wonderful woman to whom I am forever grateful to have crossed paths.

  11. Jane McPhaul was one of those persons you are lucky to have encountered in your lifetime. I was one of her students when she taught Junior High in the late 50s, and I clearly remember that she taught us not only science, but everyday tips on observation, logic, memory and language and many other cognitive skills. I believe her teachings from that class caused me to develop lifelong interests in horticulture, medicine and many other science fields. In addition to teaching, and taking on tremendous responsibilities for after school activities, she took personal interest in her students by guiding them toward activities from which they would benefit. I personally benefitted and greatly appreciate her for that.

    Yet, it is obvious that this was only a small part of her life. I knew little of her deep involvement in her community and throughout the state. Hers was a life well lived.

    My deepest condolences to all her family, loved ones and friends.

  12. Mrs. McPhaul was my Science teacher in the Southern Pines Schools in the 1960’s. Her life reverberates in the lives of those who were fortunate enough to have been her students. We had the opportunity to learn and to be loved in an authentic space of confident acceptance and high expectations. Now, we carry that blessing until we join with her. I am so sorry for your loss.
    –Hoke Pollock
    Wilmington, NC

  13. What a huge hole Jane’s death leaves in our community, our state, and our hearts. If it was a good institution or project, Jane’s loving fingerprints were on it. Or, maybe because Jane’s fingerprints were on it, it was good and worthy.
    Every moment that I was honored to share with Jane is remembered with delight – her brilliance was unmatched.
    Well done, good and faithful servant, Jane!

  14. Marian, Player,
    It took my breath when I read of your mom. I’m sorry for your pain and the loss to the fabric of the extended clan. Your mom made me feel so welcome when I visited y’all while at the house on Charlotte St in Wrightsville. Hugs to you both as you start this next journey.

  15. Marian, Player,
    It took my breath when I read of your mom’s passing. I’m so sorry for the pain and loss to you both. As well to the extended family clan whose fabric your mom is so intertwined in. Your mom was the quintessential classy Southern Lady, and I well remember her welcoming me to the house on Charlotte Street at Wrightsville, despite coming in from surfing all salty n sandy! Hugs to you both. Be well.

  16. We were so saddened to hear of Jane’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.
    Drs. Monroe and Monroe

  17. So sorry to hear of Jane’s passing. We grew up next door to the McPhauls. Player and I were the same age and I remember so fondly Marian, John, Julius and Player and playing in their back yard. My heart goes out to each of you for your loss.

  18. John, Julius, Player and Marion

    I just tonight found out about Mrs. McPhaul. I think you all know how much I loved your mom, how she helped shape my life, and how blessed I was to spend more time with her when I was grown with children of my own. My heart aches for the loss of this very special lady, but she and your father live on in all of you. My thoughts , prayers, and love to all of you. God bless!

  19. What an incredible lady Ms. McPhaul was. She and her family were some of the first people we met when we moved here nearly 35 years ago. She was such a gracious and warm person. We’ve enjoyed visiting with her through the years and trading updates on children and grandchildren. And what a wonderful contributor she was to the community for so many years in so many ways. She leaves a tremendous legacy of service. She also leaves behind a beautiful extended family. We’re honored to have known her and celebrate her long and remarkable life.

    Dan Messner and Eleisabeth Miller.

  20. Wonderful Aunt that was a role model for me. She knew what was important. Contribution to others was her mission. Loved her and will miss her.

  21. What an incredible video of Jane’s life. I loved it so much. Beautiful family and she did love her flowers, children and grandchildren.

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