Nicole Strain Spirit, 32, of Berlin, a biology teacher at Shawnee High School, died Tuesday, Dec. 27.

Mrs. Spirit sustained a brain injury in a motor vehicle accident on Dec. 17.

Her brother, Erin Strain Zipperle, said Mrs. Spirit was headed to a farm in Waterford Township to make scrapple when her pickup truck skidded off an icy road. She was not wearing a seat belt, he said.

A statement from the Lenape Regional High School District, which includes Shawnee, stated, "The Shawnee family is deeply saddened by this great loss as Mrs. Spirit, a passionate educator, was an inspiration to students and staff alike."

Mrs. Spirit taught biology and advanced biology at Shawnee, the statement said, where she was an adviser for the Animal Welfare Club and Biology Club.

Mrs. Spirit earned a bachelor's in large animal science at Delaware Valley University and was studying for a master's degree in biology at Rutgers University.

She survived a bout of  leukemia in 2013, her family said.

"She lived every second," Zipperle said. "Just live today, because you never know."

Besides her brother, Mrs. Spirit is survived by her husband, William; parents Joseph and Andrea Strain; grandparents; and a brother.

A visitation was set from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Dec. 30, at the Leroy P. Wooster Funeral Home, 44 White Horse Pike, Atco, before a noon memorial service there.

Donations may be sent to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at or to the Animal Welfare Association at

Condolences may be offered to the family at