Francine "Wicky" Woerthwein
1942 - 2018
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Francine "Wicky" Woerthwein

York - Francine M. "Wicky" Woerthwein, 76, passed away Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at Manor Care South. She was the wife of Dr. Kenneth F. Woerthwein to whom she was married for 54 years.

A memorial service in the manner of Friends will be held at 2:00 PM Sunday, October 21, 2018 at Heffner Funeral Chapel & Crematory, Inc., 1551 Kenneth Road, York. A visitation will be held from 1-2:00 PM at the Funeral Chapel. Private inurnment will be in Mt. Rose Cemetery.

Born March 29, 1942 in Pittsburgh, PA, a daughter of the late Robert O. and Marie (Sabetta) Willmore, she had attended Arcadia University and was a graduate of the Katharine Gibbs School of Executive Secretaries. She was active with both York and Harrisburg Friends (Quaker) Meeting.

Two of Wicky's remarkable qualities were her ease of forming sincere, long lasting friendships with people of all ethnic groups and classes, and for standing up against discrimination in all of its forms. She learned these lessons from her mother. Wicky's activism led from the close friendships she formed. As a child, Wicky stood up for her American Indian friend, Becky, who was not allowed at first to join the Girl Scouts. In high school, Wicky "crossed the line" to dance with African American students, was disciplined for this action, but with the help of her parents fought back to change this unwritten school practice. During the Black Power movement in Chicago, an organizational meeting in the community was held, during which all white people were told to leave the meeting. Because of the strong friendship Wicky had formed in the black community, Wicky was the only white person who was asked to stay. Unknown to others, she worked to desegregate the apartment building where she and Ken lived in Chicago. With her husband Ken, they participated in an AFSC program in Chicago called PREP in an attempt to break down racial barriers by getting to know one another through their children. Raising a tri-racial family, three of whom were adopted, Wicky created racially mixed bulletin boards and decorations at our local elementary school to express the importance of celebrating multi-ethnic cultures. Wicky and her long-time friend Baba Whisler, as members of the York NAACP, reached out to African women at York County Prison who were seeking asylum and were able to help some of them gain their freedom in America.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Woerthwein is survived by a son, Joshua J. Woerthwein and his girlfriend Kira Stokes of Secaucus, NJ; two daughters, Charity C. and husband Matthew Hyde of Philadelphia and Amanda J. and husband Michael Pressel of East Berlin; three grandchildren, Erica McQuartin, Mikayla Pressel and Nicole Pressel; and a sister, Paula Willmore of Turlock, CA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Wicky may be made to any of the following organizations: Crispus Attucks, 605 S. Duke St., York, PA 17401; American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102; Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104; Harrisburg Friends Meeting, 1100 N 6th St., Harrisburg, PA 17102; or Jewish Community Center, 2000 Hollywood Dr., York, PA 17403.

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Published in York Daily Record on Oct. 7, 2018.
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October 16, 2018
A profile in our high school paper, The Lion, in 1959.
Richard Parker
October 15, 2018
Ken and family,
I am saddened beyond words. I'll always remember Wicky as the vivacious, athletic president of Girls' Club in our high school and as the gracious, courageous woman I saw at our high school reunions. I'm thankful that you had 54 years of marriage, but I know the pain of such a loss. I'm sorry, I only learned tonight of her passing. My deepest condolences.
Dick Parker
October 8, 2018
Honored and humbled to have known this great woman. She leaves a wonderful legacy and goals for us to aspire to reach.
With Love,
Amy Laurent
October 6, 2018
Dr. Woerthwein and family,
I'm very sorry to hear of the passing of your wife. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult and sad time.
John Orendorff
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