In a eulogy to be spoken at Rachel Falcone's Saturday memorial, her son Claude intends to celebrate the fact that, after 60 years, his mother broke her addiction to cigarettes.
"She finally smoked her last cigarette while standing outside in the rain during a senior trip she went on" in 2000, he has written.
"The cigarette was extinguished by the rain and she got disgusted and finally decided that was it. No more smoking.
"She left this life with no debt and no addiction. May we all be so lucky."
On May 22, Rachel Bateman Falcone, 85, a former infirmary nurse at Haverford College, died of pneumonia at Wesley Village, a nursing home in Pittston, Pa. She had resided in Broomall.
She graduated from Norristown High School in 1942 and from Bryn Mawr Hospital Nursing School in 1944.
From 1944 to 1968, Mrs. Falcone was a nurse at Bryn Mawr Hospital. "She was going to be a battlefield nurse," her son Ernani Christopher said, but "the war ended before she got a chance."
From 1968 to 1972, he said, she was a nurse at Haverford College and from 1972 to 1982 at the former Haverford State Hospital.
Following private-duty nursing and long-term home-care nursing, she retired in the 1990s after more than 50 years.
"Mom was dealt a bad hand in life's little game of cards," her son Claude has written in his eulogy.
"After her mother died," on a farm in Bridgeton, N.J., when Mrs. Falcone was 4 years old, she went to live with an aunt in Millville, N.J., and "her five brothers and sisters were split up and went to live with relatives until her dad could bring them back together as a family."
But that didn't darken her outlook when she grew up.
"She took in people in need into her home," her son wrote. "She did things that we didn't understand, like giving rides to hitchhikers.
". . . She sure did believe in the better side of human nature."
Besides her sons, Mrs. Falcone is survived by a daughter, Julie Falcone; a sister; two grandsons; two granddaughters; and several nieces and nephews. Her former husband, Ernani Carlo, died in 2002.
A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Stephen's Church, 35 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre, with visitation to follow.