Sisters Susan "Suzy" and Sarah Wolfe touched the lives of so many people, according to friend Tracy Protell.
Sarah was a pediatrician and psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Susan held a degree in education and worked at Hillel Academy in the city's Squirrel Hill neighborhood. Both were University of Iowa alumnae.
When their lives tragically ended, friends rallied, raising funds that will turn into scholarships and grant support for the next generation. The sisters were found murdered in their East Liberty, Penn., home just outside Pittsburgh, in February 2014.
The Wolfe family of Clinton, Iowa, is very close, said Tracy. The family consists of eight siblings, six girls and two boys.
After graduating from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 2007, Sarah moved to Pennsylvania where she met Tracy. The two physicians trained together at the University of Pittsburg Medical Center in a five-year medical residency that specializes in pediatrics and child and adult psychiatry. Only two physicians are admitted to the specialized residency each year. "We were very close. We had similar goals. Sarah was like a second sister," says Tracy.
Suzy had relocated to Pennsylvania and into Sarah's home in East Liberty, a suburb of Pittsburgh.
Tracy and Wolfe family members looked into options to honor the sisters and pay tribute to their vibrant and inspiring lives, personal passions and dedicated community work. Tracy says they selected the Community Foundation of Johnson County. "It is well managed and they were willing to work with us to honor Sarah and Suzy's legacies that will provide ongoing community support and care for programs they loved now and in the future."
Christy Wolfe said, "Losing Suzy and Sarah was horrible, and we miss them every day. But we know they both lived their lives with others in mind. Both of my sisters were quick to think of what they could do to ease someone's burden or help someone through a hard time.
"We look forward to working with Sarah and Suzy's friends to distribute contributions in a way that honors their spirit. The generosity of friends, old and new, to establish this fund is such a sincere tribute to how much my sisters meant to the world."
Tracy adds, "The outpouring of love and support was tremendous. Sarah overextended herself for everyone. Colleagues, patients, techs at the hospital all donated to the fund. The sisters were very personable. They were just wonderful people."