Erica Chase-Salerno, 49, of New Paltz

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES -

On Feb. 7, 2019, Erica Chase-Salerno, of New Paltz, N.Y., cast off the fi­nal line from her Viking ship and sailed away to her next ce­les­tial port. In the hold, she car­ried with her all the love, ex­pe­ri­ences, gifts, and ev­ery­day mir­a­cles you all have shared with her on her 49year earthly jour­ney.

An ev­ery­day mir­a­cle for Erica could be a toasted se­same bagel, a mint choco­late chip milk­shake, an em­panada, a trip to Waf­fle House, or even some things that didn’t in­volve food: find­ing the ear­ring she was sure was lost for­ever, re­claim­ing a friend­ship that she thought was gone, watch­ing an Old Or­chard Beach sun­rise, walk­ing in her beloved labyrinth.

Her voy­age be­gan in Nor­wich, N.Y., in 1969, and took her from Sch­enec­tady to Al­legheny Col­lege to SUNY New Paltz, with stops in Canada, Hol­land, Ger­many, France, Haiti, Mozam­bique, Cam­bo­dia, Thai­land, South Africa, the Do­mini­can Repub­lic, and all over the United States.

She leaves be­hind on shore her fam­ily: daugh­ter, Quinn, whose in­sights into people are sec­ond to none; son, De­clan, whose nat­u­ral ath­letic skills merge seam­lessly with his gen­tle de­meanor; hus­band, Mike, whose bril­liance, courage, and strength have guided the fam­ily through­out their en­tire jour­ney; Tofu the crested gecko, who can lick his own eye­balls; and Casey the dog, whose unique song stylings bring “mu­sic” to the house; Mary and Robert Chase of Sch­enec­tady, N.Y.; Olga and Sal Salerno of New Paltz, N.Y.; Ge­orge, Vanessa, and Kai Lian Chase of Hous­ton, Texas; and many cher­ished rel­a­tives and friends.

Erica scooped ice cream, worked re­tail, wait­ressed, taught French and Span­ish, and even had a job at the United Na­tions be­fore found­ing Wyld Acres, where she served as an in­tu­itive. Through­out her trav­els she in­hab­ited and served many com­mu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing Ul­ster County Home Ed­u­ca­tors, Mav­er­ick Con­certs, Forsyth Na­ture Cen­ter, and a va­ri­ety of youth and sports or­ga­ni­za­tions. Co-found­ing the on­line com­mu­nity Hud­son Val­ley Par­ents with her hus­band led to life­long con­nec­tions Erica trea­sured, and to writ­ing her weekly col­umns for Ul­ster Pub­lish­ing, Kids’ Al­manac and Erica’s Cancer Jour­ney.

Erica loved this story from Mau­rice Sen­dak: Once a lit­tle boy sent me a charm­ing card with a lit­tle draw­ing on it. I loved it. I answer all my chil­dren’s let­ters — some­times very hastily — but this one I lin­gered over. I sent him a card and I drew a pic­ture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a let­ter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the high­est com­pli­ments I’ve ever re­ceived. He didn’t care that it was an orig­i­nal Mau­rice Sen­dak draw­ing or any­thing. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.

That’s how Erica lived her life: she saw it, she loved it, she ate it.

Vis­i­ta­tion and burial were held pri­vately. A pub­lic Cel­e­bra­tion of Life will be held at a time and place to be an­nounced. In lieu of flow­ers, dona­tions may be made in Erica’s lov­ing mem­ory to her chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion fund by mail­ing checks made payable to Michael Chase-Salerno to P.O. Box 300 Mo­dena, N.Y., 12548. Write “ed­u­ca­tion” in the memo. On­line trib­utes and re­mem­brances may be posted at https://erica. chasal.net/.

Copeland Fu­neral Home is hon­ored to as­sist the fam­ily with the ar­range­ments. On­line con­do­lences may be made to the fam­ily by vis­it­ing www.copelandfhnp.com.

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