Obituary: Sara Noelle Liston

Beloved wife, gardener, reader

Sara Noelle Liston, 68, died May 1 at her Corvallis, Oregon home.

She was born on June 12, 1954 in Keene, New Hampshire to Edward William and Eleanor “Skip” Meury (Hoblin). She was the youngest of four children and is survived by her husband Aaron Liston; siblings Jonathan “Spike” E. Meury (Teresa “Tracy” Wilson) of Claremont, Margaret “Peggy” Richieri (Denny Chicotel) of San Diego, and Paul A. Meury (Mary Skelton) of Olympia, Washington; three nephews, three nieces, two grandnieces and one grandnephew.

Sara’s father was a United Church of Christ minister who served congregations in Keene, New Hampshire; Wellesley, Massachusetts; Claremont; and Durham, New Hampshire before retiring back to Claremont. These frequent moves brought her in contact with people, places, and experiences that she would have not missed for the world, but they were also very disruptive to her childhood and young adulthood.

She attended Sycamore Elementary School, El Roble Intermediate School, and Claremont High School between 1963 and 1970. She and Aaron bonded on a 1987 “super bloom” camping trip to Death Valley and were married for 32 years. The stability of their life together in Corvallis — a small college town like all of her previous residences —  was a great solace to her spirit.

She was an avid reader and accomplished gardener. She loved working at the University of New Hampshire Library, the Huntley Bookstore (now the Yuhaaviatam Center for Health Studies) and the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (now California Botanic Garden) in Claremont, and the Oregon State University Bookstore. She excelled in sharing with others precisely the book they needed, the ideal kitchen utensil, or the perfect plant for a place in their garden. She also took great pleasure in carefully observing birds and beachcombing on the Oregon coast.

She was a “cancer thriver” who lived a full life with ovarian cancer since 2015 and was a cherished and valued member of local and online cancer support groups.

“Her gift for connecting people with a critical piece of information was a godsend to many,” her family shared. “Sara will be deeply missed by all who knew her.”

Her private Corvallis garden will be open to the public on Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21 for a celebration of life. Donations in her memory may be made to Lumina Hospice of Corvallis, Oregon at

“Her final words were, ‘Peace, peace, peace,’” said her family.

1 Comment

  1. D. CULLEN

    To Sara’s family. Sara was a bright life for me growing up in Claremont. She and her family were instrumental in my life at the church and in the community. I am so very saddened to hear about her passing. Although we lost touch over the years, we would periodically see one another in Claremont as we visited our respective parents. She and I both volunteered at the now California Gardens during high school. She touched many lives, including mine. Beth Platt Garrow.

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