Cornelia Wolf — mother of Gov. Wolf, 'pillar' of York — dies at 94

Jana Benscoter
York Dispatch

The mother of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, described as "a pillar of the York community," has died at age 94.

Cornelia Wolf was considered by many to be an inspiration. (Submitted: York County Community Foundation)

The governor's office announced Cornelia Rohlman Westerman Wolf died Thursday at her home in Mount Wolf.

A statement from the governor says that his mother's strength anchored their family and that she will be deeply missed.

“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,” Wolf said. “Our family will deeply miss my mother, but we know our remembrance of her will bring us comfort during this difficult time.”

Cornelia Wolf was well-known in York business and civic circles.

A native of Columbia, Lancaster County, she was the director of the former Wolf Distributing Co., now WOLF, the largest supplier of kitchen and bath cabinetry in the United States and a major supplier of building products.

She served as chairwoman of the United Way of York County in 1973, according to the organization's executive director, Bob Woods.

“She was always very receptive to people,” Woods said. “She liked to talk about current events and wanted to know what you were doing as an organization."

Always "visible" in the community, Cornelia Wolf "always made you feel better after talking with her," he said.

Cornelia Rohlman Westerman Wolf, in the front row in blue, watches as her son, Gov. Tom Wolf, is interviewed on "Smart Talk." Cornelia Wolf died Thursday, June 21, at age 94.

She not only played a leadership role with the United Way but also was a Tocqueville Society member — someone who supports the campaign at the highest level with annual gifts of $10,000 or more, Woods continued. 

“There were positive vibes always about her,” he said.

Among her other accolades, Cornelia Wolf was a former director and president of the Visiting Nurses Association of York County, and she co-chaired the long-range committee of the York Foundation.  

A senior Girl Scout troop leader and honorary co-chairwoman of the former Penn Laurel Girl Scout Council's endowment campaign in 1992, Cornelia Wolf was honored by the organization for being an exemplary female role model in 1996, most notably for her volunteer contributions. 

She was quoted in 1996 as saying, “Being a mother and raising four kids, if you’re serious about it, then being a role model — if that’s what you want to call it — comes naturally."

Gov. Tom Wolf's office said Thursday, June 21, that Wolf's mother, Cornelia Rohlman Westerman Wolf, has died at 94.

Cornelia spent many years as a substitute teacher at Northeastern schools, as well. 

State Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township, issued a statement offering his sincerest condolences to "Gov. Wolf and his family in this difficult time."

"Mrs. Wolf was a pillar of the York community, and she will be remembered fondly by all who knew her," Saylor said. "The governor and his family are in my thoughts and prayers."

Wolf's office says arrangements are pending.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.