Carole Cook Wright died peacefully on Monday, January 13 after a six year struggle with the consequences of gastroesophageal cancer and a courageous response to multiple myeloma for the last two years.
She was born to Margaret Mullen Cook and John Carroll Cook on November 7, 1939 in Flourtown, PA. She attended parochial school in Chestnut Hill followed by high school at Mount St. Joseph’s Academy, Chestnut Hill where she was class president for all four years and captain of their all-Philadelphia championship girls basketball team. She graduated from Gwynedd Mercy Junior College and was employed by Temple University Hospital where she became a practice manager. She met her husband Dr. Robert Wright when he was in the final year of his internal medicine residency at Temple. They were married in June 1970 and honeymooned on a cross country car trip to Seattle before he was to begin a fellowship at The University of Washington in Hematology-Oncology and where Carole worked in the Cardiology Division at The University Hospital. In 1971 they moved to Scranton where she organized the first regional practice of Hematology-Oncology now known as Hematology Oncology Associates of NEPA.
Carole found her greatest fulfillment in being a parent and a grandparent.The couple had two daughters, Sarah and Rachel. Sarah taught Spanish in Wilmington Delaware before succumbing to leukemia in 2010. Dr. Rachel Wright Heinle is the mother of Matthew and Bridget Heinle. She and her husband Dr. Robert Heinle practice medicine in Wilmington, DE. Carole has two younger brothers: Stephen resides in Warminster, PA and Dennis in Bridgeton, NJ.When Carole’s children became school aged she expressed interest in parenting children in need of a mother. Soon the family was joined by two pre-teen children, Brian and Ann Itterly, who were with the family through college and who have achieved academic, business and life success.
Carole believed strongly in the importance of family support and relationships. She entertained our extended family with memorable holiday feasts at our home in Clarks Green and remained close to the Wright and Cook families by phone, visits, mail and email. She was an excellent mentor and processed what she heard from family, friends and colleagues to offer empathetic advice and suggestions to her confidants. Family members and friends would often say: “What would Carole do?” when confronting challenges. She was an authentic servant-leader.
In 1989, she achieved a life long ambition by graduating from Marywood College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She was class valedictorian.
Carole was very involved in community activities including 20 years on the board of Scranton State School for the Deaf, 15 years on the board of Catholic Social Services, many years as a volunteer at The Friendship House for children in need, years on the board of United Way, a member of the committee to build St. Benedict’s Church in Newton, and she was a founder of Nativity Miguel School of Scranton where she and her husband established The Sarah Wright Endowment.
She was of vital support in the founding and functioning of The Scranton Temple Residency Program, now The Wright Center, and The Commonwealth Medical College now Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine where The Sarah Wright Scholarship was established by the couple.
She and her husband Bob traveled widely and while at home she enjoyed many years of tennis with friends and her Wednesday bridge club. These friends have enriched her life tremendously and have been of great support during her illness.
She benefited greatly from the care of Dr. Martin Hyzinski and his excellent staff, Dr. Linda Thomas and The Wright Center staff, and Dr. Christopher Peters and The NROC physicians and staff.
Very special thanks to Monsignor Joseph Quinn who has provided strong spiritual support and guidance during our family’s celebrations and trials.Dr. Glen Digwood and the amazing team at Allied Services Hospice gave Carole and her family the most attentive, personalized and loving care during their most difficult transition.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday at noon in the Church of Saint Gregory 330 N. Abington Rd. Clarks Green, PA 18411 by Msgr. Joseph Quinn.
Friends may call Friday morning from 11am until time of Mass at the church.
Interment will be private at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages memorial contributions may be sent to The Sarah Wright Scholarship funds at Nativity Miguel School of Scranton at 2300 Adams Ave, Dunmore PA 18509 or Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine 525 Pine Street, Scranton, PA 18509