SHELBURNE, Vt. — Elizabeth "Liz" Harding Pasti, 84, artist and matriarch extraordinaire, died peacefully in Shelburne, Vt., on May 17, 2013, following a battle with cancer.
She was born on Oct. 4, 1928, in Akron, Ohio, to Harry Gordon and Mary Frances Harding, the first of six children. While a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she met and married the love of her life, George Pasti Jr. The newlyweds sailed to England in 1948 and lived there for two years.
In 1950 they settled in Greenville, N.C., where Elizabeth completed her Bachelor of Arts degree from UI in 1956, and went on to earn her Master of Arts degree in English from East Carolina College (now ECU), in 1962. Elizabeth was the "General" in charge of a household that came to include five children. She organized more than a dozen family moves, including yearlong stays in Massachusetts, southern California, northern California, and Hawaii. The family eventually landed in Plattsburgh, N.Y. in 1967.
Elizabeth ventured into the workforce in her 50's, ultimately becoming Director of Lifelong Learning at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh. She received a Certificate of Distinguished Service from the Association for Equality and Excellence in Education and the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service from the State University of New York.
Elizabeth was active in every community she belonged to, contributing to committee work, grant preparation, and publications and serving as mentor to many. She co-founded the Unitarian Fellowship in Greenville and a chapter of the League of Women Voters in Plattsburgh. More recently, she served on the board of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, held annually in the Burlington, Vt. area, and took great pleasure in supporting this festival and music and the arts generally in the North Country.
Elizabeth was artistic and creative her entire life. She worked with many media, including clay, textiles, and charcoal. Her pastels, oils, and watercolors, created over the past 25 years, appeared in several exhibitions in northern New York and Vermont, including a one-woman retrospective in Shelburne, Vt. in 2012, and now grace private collections. She served for years as a docent at the Rockwell Kent Gallery of the Plattsburgh State Art Museum.