Carol Hession

Carol Hession

May 21, 1934 April 27, 2020

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Obituary for Carol K. Hession (Kelly)

On the morning of Monday, April 27, 2020, Carol K. Hession, 85, died of heart failure at The Highlands at Wyomissing leaving behind a legacy of faith, service, guidance, and storytelling.

Born in Utica, NY, Carol was the daughter of the late Mark C. Kelly and Marion (Charbonneau) Kelly. She was married once upon a time to the late Paul F. Hession, Jr. of Jackson Heights, NY.

Carol graduated from high school (The Convent School, Syracuse, NY) in 1952 and went to Mercyhurst College graduating with honors in 1956 (BA Education). She later earned an additional degree in 1983 from Alvernia College (Addictions Studies and Counseling).

Carol is survived by her brother, Mark C. Kelly Jr., Syracuse, NY; her children, Mary Hession Matunis (Michael); Mark P. Hession (Cathy), Martha Hession Swartz (David), and Thomas C. Hession (Amy), her grandchildren: Kyle (Ashlie) Hession, Caitlyn (Matthew) Kerns, Samantha J. Swartz, Emma C. Swartz, Krystyna M. Matunis, Anna M. Hession, and Ella F. Hession, and her great-granddaughter, Quinn Kerns.

Carol stayed home to raise her children until they were old enough to know better and then she had a successful working career, first as a teacher in Ohio and then as a counselor both in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She was the Director of 5 treatment facilities. She directed treatment facilities and led treatment programs, she counseled families of addicted individuals, she directed half-way homes for addicted pregnant women and she counseled and educated addicted women newly released from prison. She was a respected national public educator on the topic of family treatment and addiction. In the course of 43 years, Carol moved 9 times and lived in 8 different homes to follow her calling to assist those, especially single mothers, dealing with addiction issues.

After her working career ended, Carol moved to Wernersville, PA to a covered bridge architectural dream home in the woods. Her retirement life circled back to where her counseling career had begun: Alvernia University. She immersed herself in the Seniors College at Alvernia, not only as a student, but once again as a teacher. She found a place to fit in and flourish.

In 2018 Carol moved to The Highlands at Wyomissing where she once more built a new life for herself. She found a place to call home for the rest of her life. She simply loved living at The Highlands while continuing her work with Alvernia.

Carol lived her life as the nuns had taught her: say your prayers, make your bed, eat 3 meals a day, exercise, get fresh air, do good works and be grateful. Most of all always be grateful. She was a world traveler yet she purchased very few objects along her way. Instead, Carol collected two things: stories and people. Her “collections” have enriched her family and those she knew more than any purchase ever could.

Carol’s family would like to thank all of the friends that she has collected through the years. We thank them for their kindness, support and friendship. You loved our mother and grandmother and we are grateful. We would also like to express our appreciation especially to the staff and residents of the Highlands at Wyomissing and to the doctors, nurses and staff at Reading Hospital Tower Health, West Reading, PA. You took great care of our mother and grandmother and we are grateful.

Carol leaves behind many lessons, many stories, many recipes and many friends. Most of all she leaves behind her legacy of love and of service to others. She was a loyal alumna of Alvernia University and she served her alma mater in several capacities, including the Alvernia Seniors College and supporting students in the Behavioral Health Program. Contributions can be made in her memory to Alvernia University, 400 Saint Bernardine Street, Reading PA 19607, to support the Carol K. Hession Memorial Scholarship Fund, supporting students majoring in Behavioral Health.

Due to the recent worldwide Covid19 pandemic, Memorial Services will be held at a later date. Edward J. Kuhn Funeral Home, Inc, West Reading, is honored to assist the Hession family. Condolences may be expressed at

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Provide comfort for the family of Carol K. Hession (Kelly) by sending flowers.
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Lori Border

I am so sorry for your loss. I met Carol at the Alvernia Senior College. She was so welcoming and invited me to sit with her and her friends having seen I was alone. After that she always remembered my name and made a point to talk to me. She had such an infectious personality and I made sure to take every class she facilitated as I knew it would be enjoyable as well as informative. She will be remembered and greatly missed. Lori Border
Comment | Posted at 02:27pm via Condolence

Joanne Bankert

My heart goes out to all of Carol’s family. I met Carol in yoga class at Linnea’s about 20 years ago. She was a gem. I have such joyful memories of time spent with her. I left the Reading area over 10 years ago, but have never forgotten what a special lady she was and what a blessing to so many. Honestly warms my heart and brings a great big smile when I think of Carol.

Joanne Bankert
Comment | Posted at 08:32pm via Condolence

Sharon H Brahmstadt

Carol was a popular member at Alvernia Senior's Collège. She always brought a smile when she introduced guest speakers. Her art classes with Cynthia were very well attended. My favorite class was the one that she helped to teach about the Wyeth family. Carol helped to arrange a visit by Andrew Wyeth's granddaughter, Victoria Wyeth Browning, to our class. We even went as a group to Brandywine River Museum to examine the Wyeth family art work. Carol went all out!
Carol always had a smile and a kind word for whoever she met. She was a gift to all who knew her. ( Sharon and Clifford Brahmstadt)
Comment | Posted at 11:30am via Condolence

Anthony Petroski

Dear Mark and Cathy,Deepest condolences on the passing of your mother. Tony and Chris Petroski
Comment | Posted at 04:46pm via Condolence

Susan Pena

My deepest sympathy to all of you on the passing of your beloved mother and grandmother. What a tremendous legacy she has left, not only for you, but for all the people she helped! My heart is with you all, especially Martha and Emma, during this difficult time..
Comment | Posted at 02:01pm via Condolence

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