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Carolyn Ann (Kierstead) Boeri

Hartland, Vt. — Carolyn Ann (Kierstead) Boeri, 66, died peacefully at her home surrounded by her family on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. She was born in Portage Vale (Anagance), New Brunswick, Canada on Jan. 11, 1947, daughter of Percy and Berta (Stockton) Kierstead. In 1956, with her sole sibling Muriel and her mother, a very industrious woman, they left Canada and joined their father, a clever mechanic, who had found work in Danvers, Massachusetts. Their return to the United States ended a 230 years absence. The Stockton family had split loyalties during the American Revolutionary War. One member, Richard Stockton was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, while his first cousin, also Richard, was a Loyalist, of whom George Washington wrote “the Major has been very active and mischievous”. At war’s end, this Richard was given a large land grant by the king that included Anagance, New Brunswick, the town where Carolyn was born. The Stocktons are thought to be descendants of the Mayflower’s Peregrine White, the first born New Englander. The Kiersteads were early Dutch settlers in New York. Before she became a naturalized citizen, Carolyn, with family history in mind, knowingly smiled when told she had to sit quietly and separately in the balcony of Hartland’s Damon Hall during town meetings.

Carolyn, a nursing student, and her husband Jay Boeri, an engineering student, met in college and were married in 1968 a week after graduation. They soon bought land in Hartland, built a house, planted vegetable and flower gardens and an orchard, sugared, grew Christmas trees, had chickens, pigs, sheep and a stubborn pony – all the animals were escape artists. In the 1970s Carolyn, Jay and their kids were simply playing their part in the Vermont “back to the land” movement. Today, 45 years later, through fits and starts, they are still together living in Hartland, with kids and grandkids nearby.

Carolyn was in equal measure a nurse, seamstress, studio potter, gardener, crafter, woodworker, food canner, baker, visual artist, muralist, thrift store picker, newspaper editor (the Hartland Voice), an early advocate of the Hartland Cooperative kindergarten, a founding director of the Upper Valley Food Coop, a Unitarian-Universalist and now a practicing Buddhist. All her many talents, interests and energy came under one roof when in 2002 she received a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy, a visual rather than verbal way for burdened kids and adults to express themselves. It was one of her ways to help others.

Carolyn and Jay have three children, Jennifer Boeri-Boyce of Post Mills, Vt., Jesse of Truckee, Calif. and Andrew of Quechee, Vt. Rounding out the immediate family are their spouses, Andy Boyce, Jayna Gaskell and Allie (Britnell); and grandkids, Kaitlyn, Seth, Kaj and Bella; and her devoted rescue dog, Bearlee and cats, Cookie and Sammy. She is also survived by her “big-sister” Muriel Sweeney and many nieces and nephews. She will be sorely missed by family and friends left behind.

Carolyn, with her unending smiles and without trace of fear, has left on her next life journey. There are more cycles to follow and they end only when all the world is enlightened. A 24 hour Buddhist vigil was held at the Shambala Center in White River Junction.

A celebration of her life will be held at her home, a perfect reflection of who she was and what she did, on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, at 2 p.m. Hartland UU minister Paul Sawyer and others will help officiate. All friends and neighbors are invited. Food and refreshment will be provided. Carolyn said bring no tears or you will have to sit in the back row. The address is 10 Cream Pot Road, Hartland, Vt. 05048. For questions or thoughts contact Jay Boeri at 802-356-2110 or email jay@vermontel.net.

To view an online memorial and or send a message of condolence to the family, please visit www.rand-wilson.com

Arrangements are under the direction of the Rand-Wilson Funeral Home of Hanover, N.H.