Susan Spray - In Our Prayers

In Our Prayers: Susan Spray ’17 MA/EdD

Susan Spray of Minneapolis, a former grant writer and director of corporate and foundation relations in the then-named Development Office at the University of St. Thomas, died at home on Dec. 5.

Spray also earned a master’s degree in psychology from St. Thomas, as well as a doctorate in educational leadership. Her 2017 dissertation, “How to Identify and Instill Qualities of a Transformative Leader,” has been downloaded more than 200 times.

In 2010, St. Thomas bestowed upon Spray its Lifelong Learner Award. The award recognizes a staff member who has demonstrated a commitment to continuous learning, self-renewal and professional development that transcends the individual’s job responsibilities. 

Members of St. Thomas faculty and staff gathered for a recognition celebration in O'Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on Friday March 19, 2010. The Lifelong Learner Award was given to Ms. Susan Spray (center). Father Dennis Dease and Ms. Edna Comedy distributed awards. (Pictured above, from left: Dease; Spray; and Professor Emerita and former St. Thomas Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Sue Huber '82 MA, '90 PhD)

In 2005, she was appointed to the Minnesota Literacy Board, a statewide organization that provides a full range of direct and indirect literacy services to adults, children and community programs (such as English as a second language classes and GED preparation).

Spray is preceded in death by her parents, Raymond and Doris, and her husband Daniel Lee. She is survived by her children, Edward Lee, Anne Lee, and Jane Fischer, and siblings Sandra and Scott. She had several nieces and nephews, as well as her furry best friend, her dog Louie.

Her family describes her as a lifelong learner who loved the arts. She volunteered endless hours at a variety of venues, including as a tour guide at the Walker Art Center, at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and 6 Points Theatre. At the time of her death, she had calendar dates for ushering at the Ordway and several sets of tickets for upcoming shows.

Susan Spray spoke with students and guests during the Scholarship Spotlight luncheon on May 8, 2014, in James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall in the Anderson Student Center.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests consideration of a donation in her memory to the Guthrie Theater. You may donate online or send checks made out to the Guthrie Theater Foundation, with a note that it is in memory of Spray. Donations in her name may also be made out to Children's Cancer Research at

Memorial service to be held 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14, with visitation one hour prior, at Washburn-McReavy, Edina Chapel.