WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – It is not surprising that more than 400 people came Tuesday to bid farewell to Deann Gromelski Cartwright, a lifelong resident of Hastings-on-Hudson, said one of her closest friends.
The 43-year-old healer and mother of two always liked to pack them in, said Cori Gardner, who had known Cartwright since high school.
Anyone who showed up at her door was welcomed with open arms and her house frequently swarmed with children and other guests.
“People were always coming and going,” she said.
Cartwright died in a tragic accident Saturday while visiting a friend in Connecticut, her friend said. Gardner has set up a GoFundMe site to raise money for Cartwright’s children, 12-year-old Benjamin and 14-year-old Emily.
The children are being taken care of by their father, Scott Cartwright, Gardner said.
In just three days, the online campaign was close to reaching its goal of $35,000. As of Wednesday afternoon, 341 people had chipped in $31,453.
The certified polarity practitioner and Reiki master had traveled around the country for nearly 20 years to bring the latest healing arts to clients, many of whom were in the entertainment industry and many of whom became lifelong friends, Gardner said.
Donnie Kehr, of Broadway’s “Jersey Boys,” sang James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” at Cartwright’s funeral. Other theatrical folks performing at Cartwright’s funeral were Hannah DeFlumeri, Erin Edelle, Amma Osei, Tim Young, and Bligh Voth.
The theater apparently ran in Cartwright’s blood. Her father was a producer and playwright and her brother runs a theater in New Mexico, Gardner said.
Cartwright, a “kind and loving soul,” also counted among her gang of high school girlfriends Lauren Ross, Kim Kent and Meredith Lue, Gardner said.
Cartwright was born in Yonkers, to Bradford and Dorothy Gromelski, who survive her. She was a graduate of both Arizona State University and JFK University.