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Carol Marie Poole Poole Humbrecht, 84, of Mount Pleasant, passed away shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday, March 16, 2023, at Excela Westmoreland Hospital in a room packed with her children and grandchildren.
Carol was born March 21, 1938, in Butler, Pa., to the late Edwin and Verna Poole, second of the couple’s nine children. After surviving a near-fatal childhood bout with scarlet fever, she graduated in 1957 from Greensburg Salem High School. She worked for a few years in retail before landing a position with Bell Telephone as a local operator.
When the telephone utility eliminated the local operator positions, it offered Carol a job in St. Louis, but she turned down that position and instead went to work as an inspector at the Westinghouse semiconductor plant in Youngwood (now the campus of Westmoreland County Community College). That turned out to be a fortuitous turn of events because she met George Ray Poole, a widower almost 16 years her senior, at the plant. The two were married in 1963 and remained together until George’s death in 1971.
For the next three years, she was a single mother of the two children she had with George, until she met Lawrence W. Humbrecht, a long-haul truck driver. Carol, having grown up on a farm, learned to drive on the family’s tractor and could handle nearly anything with a steering wheel, including a muscle-car Camaro belonging to her stepson Larry, and the big rig that her husband Larry used at work.
After Carol’s second marriage, she and Larry brought three of the children he had from a previous marriage into their home. The couple had a daughter of their own.
Carol was a parent to two stepsons from George’s first marriage, a son and daughter she had with George, the daughter she had with Larry, and three stepdaughters and two stepsons from Larry’s first marriage. But within the family’s bounds, she didn’t consider any of them stepchildren.
To Carol, they were all her children, and they all called her “Mom” or “Ma.”
Larry and Carol also welcomed family members of the four-legged variety into their homestead in Ruffs Dale, Westmoreland County. They raised rabbits and sold them to pet stores throughout southwestern Pennsylvania as Easter bunnies. The family menagerie also included dogs – American Kennel Club champion purebreds as well as mutts – cats, peacocks and chickens, pigs, goats, lambs and even one horse. One particularly vicious chicken attacked anyone who ventured into his territory.
That experience might have caused Carol to enter a career as a veterinary technician. She studied for her certification – a process that included having her children drill her on Latin medical terms. She went on to work as a veterinary technician at the University of Pittsburgh.
She had a green-thumb, she loved growing roses, and would study the nursery catalogs every spring to pick out her new rose bushes each year. She once even diagnosed a plant problem for her daughter with just a picture.
In addition to her love of animals, she was an avid crafter, she would crochet and knit gifts for friends, family and anyone that touched her life. She could look at a pattern for just a few minutes and make or improve the project for gift-giving. She went on to work in the craft department at the Walmart store in Hempfield Township (now the location of a Sam’s Club).
After Larry Humbrecht passed away March 25, 2013, Carol met Jerry Wilmot, who lived in Indiana after working in Las Vegas. The two remained together as partners and lived in Mount Pleasant.
She is survived by partner Jerry Wilmot of Mount Pleasant, children Robert Poole and his wife Nancy, of Florida; Terry Humbrecht and his wife Michelle of Florida, Debbie Stein of N.J.; Brenda and her husband Arthur of New Jersey; Kevin Humbrecht and his wife Beth of North Carolina; Karen Gross and her husband Scott of Alverton, Pa.; Eric Poole and his wife Dawna of Ellwood City, Pa.; Kristy Garsteck and her husband Jim of Mount Pleasant; and Robin Cacese and her husband Navy Lt. (ret.) Michael of Virginia; Grandchildren Kathy Poole-Carter, Kimberly Poole, Beth Ann Lohr, John Poole, Terry Humbrecht, Michael Humbrecht and Christopher, Humbrecht, Cheryl Lynn Burplis, Linda Evangelista, Stephen Evangelista, Laurie Piliro, Amber Humbrecht, Joel Humbrecht, Rachel Tackett, Scottie Gross, Chad Gross, Gareth Poole and Calista Poole; Keanan Garsteck, Blane Garsteck, Declan Garsteck, Samuel Cacese, Jared Cacese and Megan Cacese; many great-grandchildren; sisters Doris Lohr of Hempfield Township and Janice Cammerata of Allison Park, Pa.; and brothers Richard Poole and Larry Poole of Hempfield Township.
Carol was preceded in death by her parents; husbands George Ray Poole and Lawrence W. Humbrecht; son Larry Poole; grandson Jeffrey Poole, grandson Billy Stein; and siblings Shirley Shoaf, Edwin Poole, Ceward “Shiner” Poole and Sandy Poole. Visitation for family and friends will be held from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8pm Sunday, March 19, 2023 at SLATER-REGA FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES INC 730 W. MAIN STREET MT. PLEASANT where services will be held at 11am Monday, March 20, 2023 with Rev. Jason Schweinburg officiating. Interment will follow in the Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, Tarrs, PA. Please visit Carol's online memorial at rega.slaterfuneral.com to sign the condolence guestbook. Richard Rega, Funeral director.
Sunday, March 19, 2023
2:00 - 4:00pm (Eastern time)
Sunday, March 19, 2023
6:00 - 8:00pm (Eastern time)
Monday, March 20, 2023
11:00am - 12:00pm (Eastern time)
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