Apex Funeral Home

550 W Williams St, Apex, NC


Kate Elizabeth Spillane

January 3, 1983November 2, 2019
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Kate Elizabeth Spillane, 36 of Roanoke, VA passed away suddenly on November 2, 2019 in Raleigh, NC.

Kate was born January 3, 1983 in Nyack, New York to her parents, Thomas and Alice Spillane. Kate lived life to the fullest. She was the life of the party. Her smile was contagious and would light up a room. She could make anyone laugh with her quick wit. She was an accomplished NICU nurse and recently graduated from Duke University with her masters. She had just begun her new career as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. Kate never met a stranger and once you were a friend of Kate you were a friend for life. Kate’s greatest accomplishment in life was her son Roman. He was her pride and joy and she lives on in him.

She is preceded in death by her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. William Barrett and Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Spillane. Kate will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Brian Grandelli; son, Roman Wahdan; parents, Thomas and Alice Spillane; sisters, Brenna Magliulo (Alessandro), Jill Sutton (Jereme) and Amy McGrady (Shawn); and nieces and nephews, Nicholas, Stella, Liam, Shamus, Madeline, Hannah Grace and Molly.

A wake will be held on Thursday, November 7, 2019 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Apex Funeral Home. A funeral mass will be held on Friday, November 8, 2019 at 1:00PM at St. Michaels Catholic Church, 804 HighHouse Rd, Cary, NC 27513.

Flowers are welcome and memorial contributions can be donated to the family for Roman’s College Fund, Make checks payable to NC 529 Plan and add Act # 540616247-002 in memo of check. Checks can be mailed to NC 529 Plan, PO Box 40877, Raleigh, NC 27629-0877.

Condolences can be shared at apexfuneral.net


  • NC 529 Plan


  • Wake Thursday, November 7, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Friday, November 8, 2019


Kate Elizabeth Spillane

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November 13, 2019

Alice and Tom,
I haven’t seen you or your family for years but I do remember how your girls were the center of your universe. And. especially the joy and laughter in your voice when you spoke of them. So please know that we’re thinking of you at this most difficult time.

Toni & Larry Shaw

Scott&Dori Keeler

November 12, 2019

Sweet Kate...We have more touching memories than we can share here. We first knew your heart when "The Spillane girls" knocked at our door just after we moved to North Carolina. You welcomed us to the neighborhood by celebrating Ryan's 13th birthday. You arrived with a cake with 13 candles burning. You asked, Ryan, "Do you want us to sing Happy Birthday forward, backward, high or low?" Ryan chose backward and low. You delivered. The rest is our shared history. Sunday mass snuggling close while you wore my jewelry. A special night at Topsail beach where you jumped out of the closet. To say you were the life of the party is an understatement. You achieved so much, saved so many babies, touched so many lives. You will live on through your awesome son, Roman. You are gone from this life, to a better place, but not forgotten. Thank you for all the ways you have touched our lives and our hearts.
Love you forever,
The Keelers

Helen Creegan-Walsh

November 10, 2019

My brother and sister-- " the twins' as they are affectionately known , shared such wonderful memories of Kate and the Spillane's and of our Reunion weekends. I guess being 12years older I was not always involved directly in the shenanigans.

However, I have different memories of Mrs. Spillane, [Alice ]coming to the house pregnant with Kate after the twins were born--there was only 6months age difference - and the happiness and joy everyone felt on Kate's arrival.

The Spillane girls were always such a tight unit and I always admired their bond.

I remember fondly the very Politically "Correct " Supremes Karaoke Act the Girls and Tom did at Mary Alyce's one summer-- we all could not stop the laughter.

I wish you all love and strength as you move on in life without Kate.

Helen xx

Elizabeth Nielsen

November 8, 2019

The staff at Vidant Medical Center NICU loved Kate. She was smart, a quick learner who was here to soak in as much as she possibly could. Her expertise in neonatal nursing was evident but it was her bright personality that brought joy to our office. She was thrilled to watch Dr Jill Sutton in the OR. She was so proud of her family and her son. We had hoped that Kate would come back to us but it was not meant to be. Our sincerest condolences and prayers to Kate’s loved ones.

Kelly Ann Kinney

November 8, 2019

I have many wonderful memories with Kate but I found some photos that I feel really sum up the essence of my favorite Kate qualities: her sense of fun, her good nature, and her amazing sense of humor.

At Enloe, we were waiting for the bus to take us to an away game and I had this stupidly large duffel bag. Kate decided she wanted to see if we could fit a person into it. So, she folded herself up, got in, and we somehow managed to zip her up and carry her around for a little bit. I happened to have my camera with me and snapped photos of the folding, the lifting, and her eventual escape from the duffel bag. It was totally ridiculous but absolutely perfect.

I cherish these fond memories and laughter and will carry Kate with me in my heart.

Chi H

November 8, 2019

“You da best,” Kate texted. That was an example of the texts and emails at all hours that I would receive over the many years working with her in the Duke NICU that made me smile. She was such a strong patient advocate, never afraid to ask questions, and always looking for ways to improve things.

We were pregnant at the same time, and I will never forget during our last trimester when she yelled at me for running to a Code. Afterward, she felt bad about it and apologized even though no apology was needed. We both agreed that we would only “speed waddle” from then on.

She cared about people, and her compassion for others was palpable. Dear Alice, in this way, she reminded me so much of you. My heart breaks for your family and Roman, whom she was so proud of and shared so many stories about.

I pray you are uplifted by comfort during this time.
Love, Chi Dang Hornik

Maria A Hernandez

November 7, 2019

As I remember, Kate is someone who could break down the barriers of race and age. She always initiated the conversations if you saw her. When she was in the company of Filipino nurses at work she tried to speak the language and was very keen in remembering words she had learned. Like what others have shared she made us laugh! "Our Kate" is gone just what our colleagues have said but we will always reminisce the times we have shared!
To Alice and family, I pray that the Peace Grace and Love of our Lord Jesus Christ dwell in your hearts.

John T Creegan

November 7, 2019

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Spillane, Brenna, Jill, Amy, and Roman,

Words cannot express the deep sorrow I felt and feel with you at this difficult time. Like Brian and Maureen already wrote, I remember our summer Reunion weekends fondly.

I remember Maureen and I waiting impatiently for the arrival of the Spillane Volkswagen and that the first thing Kate wanted to do was go to Cheap John’s so that we could load up on silly string, bang snaps and party poppers for the weekend. Kate was the first to adopt the songs and nicknames of our parents. She jovially referred to the women as the “Bellevue Beautes”, wore her orange “I say R” shirt with pride and sang “Reunion dooty oot datty adda” on a loop all weekend. We swam in the Atlantic Ocean, competed in beach paddle ball, ran around the Ponquogue gray and red beach stand, and ate cold cut sandwiches. We coerced our parents, with full coolers and snacks, into buying us beach stand crinkle cut French Fries and King Cones. We swung Badminton rackets until twilight and, after sunset, hid in the Faraguna’s hedges to escape the “Ghost in the Graveyard”. When American athletes arrived in Barcelona for the 1992 Summer Olympics, Kate Spillane did a cartwheel on a Remsenburg make-shift balance beam (a piece of wood pulled from a Mary Alice project) and competed in karaoke.

We remained in touch sporadically as adults and it seems like we shared another parallel experience over the years, which I wish I had known of sooner. She is gone too soon but I will forever hold our memories in my heart and work in her memory.

Please know, despite the workings of time and distance, I love all of you dearly and the depth of sympathy I feel for you is great. When the waves of grief crash, and the pain feels too terrible to bear, I pray that you feel the calm of an Atlantic Ocean breeze and feel Kate’s presence with you.

May God hold all of you in the palm of his hand during this difficult time,

Kim smith

November 7, 2019

Kate was brilliant in many ways, one of the smartest people I knew, but then she had some great teachers (“Mother Superior”) for one! She was a very kind soul too and that is reflected in her son Roman. Her skills and expertise could have changed and saved so many lives and while she was here she “did good” with those she cared for, I say kind but fierce also, as a patient advocate she was a force to be reckoned with and did not wither or waiver in her concerns Or speaking for her baby patients. I will miss you my friend, but you finally found peace and although you leave a void, true friends and family will never forget you and will always cherish our memories of you. Love Kim

Lori Cain

November 6, 2019

Kate was a loud, spunky coworker, but also smart as a whip! She had a big heart too. The memory that comes to me began one morning in 2013 as we walked into work together from the parking lot. She told me her friend was at Duke and in danger of delivering prematurely and she was worried. At the end of our shift we happened to walk out together and she said the Drs were probably going to deliver the baby but she was extremely small. Kate wanted to see her but had decided not to because she was nervous and didn't know what to say. I told her, "No, we are going to go see her. I'll go with you." We ended up encouraging her and praying with her (that was the first time I had ever felt the Holy Spirit tell me with a strong urge to pray with someone). The next day Kate told me the baby had been delivered and was in our unit. Kate asked me to be her primary because she was too close and didn't feel she could navigate that territory. I felt really honored that she would ask me. She knows I love my primaries as my own children. We also sat together at that baby's funeral. I know God brought that baby here and took her back to heaven for a reason. And even though we may never know this side of heaven, I know God is good and has a plan and Kate's life and death are in his plan. To Alice, Tom and to Kate's sisters, I pray that you find peace and remember her life with joy.