Lisa A. Sisco, PhD, 57, passed away at home on March 5th, surrounded by her family. Born in Norwich, CT, she was a long-time Westwood, MA resident. She was the devoted mother of Ling Soucy and Oscar Soucy (Westwood) and the loving daughter of John L. Sisco and the late Mary Jo (DePalo) Sisco (Norwich, CT). She is survived by her siblings, Maria Sisco (Pittsburgh), Carolyn (James) Berluti (Westwood), John (Evan) Sisco, Jr. (Keller, TX), Michael (Mimi) Sisco (Norwich, CT), Ann Marie Sisco (New Rochelle, NY), and Peter (Lisa) Sisco (Oakdale, CT). She is also survived by her former husband, Robert J. Soucy, many nieces, nephews, cousins, and a wide and loving community of friends and former students.
A double major in math and English, Lisa earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Georgetown University and a PhD in composition studies and American literature at the University of New Hampshire in 1996. A longtime Professor of English at Johnson and Wales University, Lisa was a creative and thoughtful teacher at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Adept at incorporating a variety of pedagogies into her courses, Lisa was never happier than when she was creating new classes or sharing assignments with colleagues. She truly loved teaching and her countless students, who benefited greatly from her passion and commitment to helping them become better writers.
In addition to teaching, Lisa found creative joy in her design work for Sisco + Berluti, a jewelry company she co-founded with her beloved sister, Carolyn Berluti. Lisa's keen eye for color and ear for language were evident in her many contributions to the company, from designing "stacks" of eye-popping Sisco + Berluti bracelets to writing copy for the website, to planning pop-up events at local boutiques. Beading was her passion, an opportunity to gather around a table with friends and family and create small stacks of beauty, all while simmering a pot of delicious soup on the stove, pouring red wine, and conversing about a range of subjects, from books to politics, pop culture to gardening, kids, cats, and cooking—and all of life's joys and sorrows in between.
A woman of wide-ranging interests and hobbies, Lisa was a true creative in all she did and in how she approached life. Her house, populated by an ever-evolving herd of cats and decorated in an eclectic mix of vintage and new pieces, epitomized her quirky sense of humor. With its outdoor brick oven, her home was a mecca for friends and family and the site of many memorable gatherings. An accomplished and adventurous cook, Lisa recently published a collection of the Sisco family's most cherished recipes, thus enabling her cooking legacy to live on in subsequent generations.
While Lisa was many things—a smart, confident woman, an accomplished writer and teacher, a crafty and creative force to be reckoned with—at heart, she was a homebody, a woman who drew her energy from friends and family. A proud and devoted mother, she relished her son Oscar's musical accomplishments and her daughter Ling's academic successes. Lisa ministered joyfully to countless people from her humble home, preferring it to any other place on God's earth, especially at the end of her life. Her generous hospitality will be missed by all, especially "the other Lisa's" who are utterly bereft at the passing of their beloved friend and yard sale companion.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend calling hours on Sun. March 8th from 2-5 PM at the Holden-Dunn-Lawler Funeral Home (www.hdlfuneralhome.net). A Service of Thanksgiving celebrating Lisa's life will be held Monday, March 9th at 10 AM at the Woodland Country Club, 1897 Washington St., Newton, MA, with reception to follow.
Lisa's family acknowledges the team at the Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies at Mass General Hospital Cancer Center. Direct donations in her memory to support cancer research under Dr. Lipika Goyal at https://because.massgeneral.org/fundraiser/2700099. Contributions can be made payable to Mass. General Hospital c/o Development Office, Attn: Meagan Coons, 125 Nashua St, Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114. Note "In memory of Lisa Sisco" in the memo line.
Lisa's family is extraordinarily grateful to the many neighbors, friends, and medical professionals who have shown their love of Lisa in so many heartfelt ways, especially after her cancer diagnosis.
"The strands are all there: to the memory nothing is ever lost." Eudora Welty