Cornelia Wolf, mother of Pennsylvania governor, dies at 94

Tom Wolf's mother, Cornelia, straightens out his coat following a rally before to kick off his bus tour on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. (York Daily Record file)

Tom Wolf's mother, Cornelia, straightens out his coat following a rally before to kick off his bus tour on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. (York Daily Record file)

Cornelia Rohlman Westerman Wolf, the mother of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, has died at the age of 94 at her home in Mount Wolf.

“My mother’s strength anchored our family, and we are heartened that many Pennsylvanians were able to experience her spirit and joy in these last few years,” the governor said in a statement. “Our family will deeply miss my mother, but we know our remembrance of her will bring us comfort during this difficult time.”

Arrangements are pending, according to a news release.

The Wolf family’s roots in Mount Wolf date back to when Tom Wolf’s great-great-grandfather moved a store to a high point of a valley, and became the station agent and postmaster along a railroad line. Cornelia Wolf grew up on the other side of the Susquehanna River in the Columbia area. Her father owned a butcher shop.

She met her future husband in 1942 at a bridge game. William “Bill” Trout Wolf graduated college early and entered the service during World War II.

After the war, he called Cornelia and asked her on a date. He wasn’t sure if she would remember him.

“I was in hopes,” Bill said previously.

She accepted. That led to them to getting married and raising four children: Tom, Andy, Cornelia (who goes by Cory), and Hank.

During the 2014 campaign for governor, both parents appeared in ads for their son.

*The story below was originally published in June 2014*

Meet Wolf’s parents

Cornelia and Bill Wolf, parents Tom Wolf, at their home in Mount Wolf Tuesday, June 10, 2014. (Kate Penn/York Daily Record, file)

Tom Wolf’s parents, Bill and Cornelia Wolf, had a small but important change to make to support their son’s primary campaign for governor.

They switched from Republicans to Democrats in September 2013, according to county voter registration records.

At a Feb. 1 campaign event in York County, Tom Wolf joked that there were signs of some rolling over at a Mount Wolf area graveyard.

The Wolf family’s roots in Mount Wolf date back to when Tom Wolf’s great-great-grandfather moved a store to a high point of a valley, and became the station agent and postmaster along a railroad line. Wolf’s mother, 90-year-old Cornelia, grew up on the other side of the Susquehanna River in the Columbia area. Her father owned a butcher shop.

She met her future husband in 1942 at a bridge game. Bill, now 93, graduated college early and entered the service during World War II.

After the war, he called her and asked her on a date. He wasn’t sure if she would remember him.

“I was in hopes,” Bill said.

She accepted. That led to them getting married and raising four children: Tom, Andy, Cornelia (who goes by Cory), and Hank.

Tom’s mother told a version of that story in an April campaign message about how Tom had turned around the family business and saved jobs in 2009. Cornelia and Bill both appeared in a TV ad with Tom about issues facing seniors.

Cornelia spoke at a rally for Tom two days before the May 20 primary. Jim Kinder, a former mayor of Mount Wolf, introduced her as “one of the classiest young ladies I know.

“And I say young, because she certainly looks like she’s about 60,” Kinder said.

She took the microphone to cheers.

“This is amazing, Tom. You’re amazing, too,” she said and laughed.

“That’s the first time she has ever said that,” Wolf told the crowd.

The crowd laughed. Cornelia pointed at him.

“Could you remove him?” Cornelia said. “Because he’s going to ad lib right behind me.”

Later, Cornelia said she thinks Tom got a wry sense of humor and his brains from his father.

“I think he’s gotten self-confidence from both of us,” she said.

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The York Daily Record

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