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Lisa's Story

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Sweet Lisa's spirit left her earthly body on May 16. She lived life in joyful love until she took her last breath at age 50. She is survived by her spouse Patti Ruskey who she loved for over 30 years, her 12-year old daughter Eleanor who was Lisa's pure delight, the best aunt in the world Nane Woolen (Al), her uncle Darrell Price, her aunt Betty Parks, her dear foster family the Eichelbergers, her brother Doug Coons (Susan), her sister Shanna Grey, nephews Ray and Brendan, the Larson family, and her chosen sisters who walked by her side through her journey. Lisa was preceded in death by her parents Pat Grey and Jerry Coons. There were so many in the community - friends, volunteers and Mayo Hospice staff - who greatly enhanced Lisa and her family's final months together.
Lisa was born in East St. Louis, Illinois. She received her Master's degree in Women's Studies from Mankato State University and then fully embraced Mankato as her true home, and Mankato fully embraced her right back. A lifelong teacher and community builder, Lisa touched and inspired many lives through the community she built with Patti at the Coffee Hag, the classes she taught at the university, and by feeding people, re-skilling and gardening in her role as co-director of the Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry at Good Counsel with the support and love of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
Lisa touched many lives, but you also touched hers. She knew how much she was loved, and she loved you with all her heart. By all of us coming together, we created many positive changes and inspired new visions for our entire community.
A Gratitude Gathering (indoor service) will be held on her birthday, Wednesday, June 28 at 6pm, followed by a 7:30pm outdoor drum circle with stories and revelry (lawn chairs a good idea) at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mankato, 937 Charles Avenue.
Published on May 22, 2017
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