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Elisabeth Morton Chiera

SALISBURY — Elisabeth Morton Chiera, 89, daughter of the Rev. Henry J. Chiera, Rector of St. John’s Church, and Olive McMillen Chiera, died on October 8, 2020.

Lisa was born at Sharon Hospital on September 23, 1931. She loved Salisbury and her home for the first 18  years of her life was the Rectory of St. John’s Church, a Victorian-style Tudor house that was once located on Main Street at Salmon Kill Road. She attended a girl’s boarding school located at Searles Castle on Great Barrington’s Main Street and then went to Emma Willard college preparatory school for girls in Troy, New York.

In 1952, she went to St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. It was the first year that women were allowed to enroll at that men’s institution. At St. John’s students studied the hundred “Great Books”, a rigorous curriculum based on discussion of works of Western philosophical, religious, historial, mathematical, scientific and literary thought. She graduated with honors in 1956. She was an avid collector of American folk music, recorded elderly musicians in the Appalachian mountains and produced a recording of their music for Folkways Records.

Lisa moved to Chambridge, Massachusetts to attend Boston College where she studied accounting. Early mornings she would skate at an ice rink just prior to the Boston Bruins morning practice. They made her an honorary member of their team. Moving to New York metropolitan area, she spent over forty years as an accountant at various Wall Street accounting and research firms.

Lisa often visited and lived in Salisbury in the intervening years between college and her death in 2020. She loved the outdoors and spent summer vacations joining volunteer trail crews working along the Taconic Mountain range. As a member of Orienteering USA, she competed at local orienteering meets where her topo map reading, calculating and athletic skills came into play. She regularly hiked to Mt. Riga and other local trails in Salisbury well into her 80’s.

Lisa never married. She is survived by her loving brother, Edward Chiera of Bolinas, California, her nephew, Samuel Hamilton Chiera of New York City, her four nieces, Laura and Annik Chiera from the San Francisco Bay Area, Jennifer Chiera Fleming of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Stephanie Chiera of Great Barrington and other nearby friends and relatives.

Delayed by the Covid pandemic, a graveside burial service for Elisabeth Chiera will be held at Salisbury Cemetery on Wednesday, May 24 at 2 p.m. The Reverend Paul Christopherson of St. John’s Church will be officiating. Her brother, Edward, welcomes Lisa’s friends and acquaintances to attend the service and requests that they contact him at edchiera@gmail.com for directions. Memorial contributions may be made to Noble Horizons, 17 Cobble Rd., Salisbury, Connecticut 06068.

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