Lucia Coulter Scala passed away at home in Lenox, MA on November 18, 2020 in the company of her sons James (Jed) C. Scala of Great Barrington, MA and New York City and John (Josh) A. Scala of San Francisco, CA. In addition to her sons, Lucia is survived by her husband of 54 years, James M. (Jim) Scala, her granddaughters Maria, Emma and Katarina, all of San Francisco, CA, and by her sister, Joan Pittman, of Sullivan’s Island, SC.
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Born on March 3, 1936 to John H. and Lucia Manneschmidt Coulter, Lucia was raised in Greensburg, PA where her Scotch-Irish ancestors settled in 1791. Her family helped shape the city with their involvements in its legal, political and business activities. More widely, family members fought with distinction in the Mexican, Civil and Spanish-American Wars as well as in World War I.
Lucia attended the Madeira School, graduated from Vassar College and then went to the Yale School of Drama. In her early career, Lucia worked at American Heritage in New York City, where she met and married her husband, Jim. Their wedding celebration included a horse-drawn carriage ride to the reception at the Plaza Hotel.
Lucia herself was an accomplished horsewoman. She rode for years; her last and favorite horse was Ivory Lad. She and Jim would go to the horse races at Saratoga several times a week, where her bets would always be on the gray mares.
In fact, Lucia loved all animals. Undeterred by her husband’s refusal to fly, Lucia traveled intrepidly with her friend Barbara to experience animals in their habitats: to Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia several times; to Antarctica for the penguins, from both South America and then Australia and New Zealand; and to Churchill, Manitoba for the polar bears. Her photographic journals show her keen eye and her curious nature.
Skiing has always been a family passion, one at which Lucia excelled. She enjoyed participating in the women’s ski program at Jiminy Peak with her “ski buddies” well into her 70’s.
Lucia was a member of the Berkshire Garden Club where she was recognized nationally for her contributions. She also volunteered at the Shaker Villages (both at the Darrow School and Hancock), and the New Lebanon Library. She was a real estate agent with Roberts & Associates, briefly, in Pittsfield. For a time, Lucia and her husband owned and ran The Egremont Inn in South Egremont, MA. Lucia loved to bake; she made all of the inn’s desserts and has shared those talents with her granddaughters.
Lucia enjoyed movies and was a voracious reader. Her personality was a sunny one, and her laugh infectious. She approached everything with an enviable zeal, whether it was her own pursued interest or helping others. She was diminutive but mighty! Lucia will be missed, yet the memory of her great spirit will continue to inspire.
In lieu of flowers, the family gratefully requests that contributions be made to: World Wildlife Fund,
by mail: 1250 Twenty-Fourth Street, NW; PO Box 97180; Washington, DC 20090-7180
or online: https://support.worldwildlife.org/
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