Elizabeth R. "Liz" DePiero

October 17, 1939 ~ August 16, 2019 (age 79)


Age 79, on Friday, August 16, 2019, at Asbury Heights in Mt. Lebanon where she had resided since July 25, 2019 from cancer. Beloved wife of the late Samuel J. DePiero.

Born October 17, 1939 in Boston, MA she was the third child of Joseph C. and Emily (Hughes) Boyce and was one of five girls.  Moving around a great deal due to her father and mother’s academic careers, Liz considered the “Michillinda” family cottage in MI to be her lifelong home.   

Liz attended Hinsdale Central High School in IL, graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) and then earned a Master's Degree from Rutgers University in Elementary Education including a Certificate in Special Education. Liz began her career in New Jersey, teaching both in public school and as a special ed teacher.  She then accepted a position at The Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children in Oakland, PA.  Liz worked with multiply handicapped blind children for nearly 30 years. During her tenure she helped transform the School, broadening the scope of their mission to include more students with multiple handicaps. She was noted for her exceptional patience with the children and always celebrated their hard-won accomplishments. Later in life she became a consultant to those losing their vision as adults. Her work transformed the lives of many individuals and their families. Liz met her husband Sam, a science teacher/librarian, her first year at the WPSBC and they were married August 22, 1969. Liz, a vegetarian, was known for her avid love of gardening and studied to become a Master Gardener.  She was active in the Western PA Herb Society as well as the National Herb Society and for many years was the editor of the local Herbal Society Newsletter.  Liz had a great love of crafts of all sorts, a knitter who used her ability to make hats for cancer patients, she also became an accomplished basket weaver and taught basket weaving to interested friends. She shared with Sam a deep love of books. Teaching, reading, gardening, knitting, sewing, yoga and basketry were all enjoyed by Liz. She also created new pursuits that mixed her interests, such as teaching yoga to handicapped students and designing embroidery patterns of common herb plants. In her many endeavors, Liz created without expecting perfection in the outcome. She encouraged others to follow their passions and did not judge a shortfall. This quality and her cheerful enthusiasm promoted the creativity of both family members and friends.  Liz was a professed Jain and used her Jain name “Karuna” on her license plate. This name was given to her by her friends and means “compassionate” in Sanskrit. Her license plate holder said “Driver Reads Braille” to the amusement of other drivers! 

Liz was a loving, attentive and patient caretaker of her husband through 15 years of Alzheimer’s disease.  

She was the mother of Fred (Constance) DePiero PhD, Theslee Joy (the late Paul Kimberly Ling, PhD) DePiero, MD  and Celeste (Brent) Baxter.  Grandmother of Alexandra Ling, Jared Baxter and Grant Baxter. Sister of Mary (Nels) Gelfman, Emily (Tom) White and Fran (Ron) Swann, niece Celia Gelfman and special caregiver Wendy Yates.  Besides her parents Liz was predeceased by her sister Katherine L. (Boyce) Hinman Morse. Visitation with the family will be on Friday, September 27 from 6 to 8 PM at LAUGHLIN Cremation & Funeral Tributes, 222 Washington Road,  Pittsburgh, PA 15216. There will be a luncheon for family and friends on Saturday September 28 to celebrate and remember Liz’s life.  In lieu of flowers please send donations to:

Chatham Baroque ( 

Phipps Conservatory (

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elizabeth R. "Liz" DePiero, please visit our floral store.


September 27, 2019

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Laughlin's - Mt. Lebanon
222 Washington Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15216

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