Barbara Coulter Liston

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Barbara Coulter Liston

February 24, 1953 - August 02, 2018

Barbara Coulter Liston Beverly Farms, MA - Barbara Coulter Liston of Beverly Farms, a brilliant and beloved educator, died on August 2 after a long illness. She was 65.
Barb was wholeheartedly dedicated to Brookwood School in Manchester for 38 years until her retirement in 2017. Starting there as an English teacher, varsity coach, and student advisor, she became a visionary who shaped the philosophy, policies, and programs that defined the mission of the school and its day-to-day practices. She was widely recognized as the heart and soul of the school and for many years was affectionately known as “Queen” by students and colleagues alike. Her astute institutional perspective, steadfast focus on children, extraordinary eloquence, and personal magnetism made her a strong and genuinely attuned leader of her Brookwood family. She became Head of Upper School, and then Assistant Head of School. In the latter role she oversaw curriculum, faculty professional development, the secondary school admission process, and department coordinators. She was a tireless champion of students and faculty, especially those who most needed her distinctively wise and compassionate guidance and support. Over the years, she nurtured thousands of Brookwood students and sent them on to further their educations with generous, heartfelt advocacy. Many former students have made it clear that Barb was the highlight of their time at Brookwood.
Barb was intensely devoted to her son, Coulter Chute, who grew from a one-pound preemie to become the strapping first responder he is today. Her walls were festooned with photos of him and of their shared adventures. Coulter’s recent graduation from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa. was a joyful landmark for Barb, as was his enrollment in the Massachusetts reserve police academy. She was proud of his passion and his determination.
Barb was born in Waterbury, Conn. on February 24, 1953, a daughter of Maurice Liston, Jr. and Barbara (LaVigne) Liston. She grew up in Woodbury and moved to Middlebury in her teens. She attended St. Margaret’s School (now Chase Collegiate) in Waterbury, and earned a B.A. in English from Princeton University in 1975. She received her M.Ed. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education with a focus on Human Development in 1978. She taught English and coached at Westover School in Middlebury for several years before moving to the North Shore.
Innately an adventurous soul, Barb had great zest for life. She was gregarious and engaging, always wanting to learn more about whomever she met. She had a multitude of loving friends. She traveled widely when she was young and later with her son. Sitting on a beach in the sun was her idea of nirvana, and one of her favorite places was the beach in “Quonnie,” Charlestown, R.I.
For all her joie de vivre, Barb was a seeker—thoughtful, contemplative, and deeply intellectual. She was a voracious reader and a writer, a lover of words and metaphor, a sought-out grammarian. She was known for her irreverent humor and was fond of the well-placed expletive.
A talented athlete, Barb was previously a highly ranked New England women’s doubles tennis player. She was a self-taught gourmet cook, a sensitive gardener, a forever self-deprecating artist, and a lover of the beautiful and the literary.
Barb is survived by her beloved son Coulter Chute of Beverly Farms. She also leaves her sisters Martha G. Kellogg of Watertown and Amy L. Liston of Portland, Maine, and brothers Richard Glenn of Barrington, R.I. and Romey Glenn of Mancos, Colo. and Tucson Ariz., as well as many in-laws, nieces, and nephews. She also leaves her former husband Rick Chute. She was married briefly in the 1980s to Warren Marcus. She was predeceased by Coulter’s twin sister, Amy Dowling Chute.
A celebration of Barb’s life will be held in September on the North Shore.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Barb’s memory to:
Tufts Medical Center, Development Office, For: Neonatal ICU 800 Washington Street #231 Boston, MA 02111. Or Brookwood School’s Unrestricted Endowment For: Student Scholarships 1 Brookwood Road Manchester, MA 01944
Published on August 8, 2018
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