Lisa Kei Eunson 1954-2017
My Dear Friends
With great sadness I must inform you that the Rev’d Canon Lisa Eunson died early this morning. Lisa has journeyed through her illness with remarkable faith and with great concern for all of us and for the church she loved.
Rest Eternal Grant unto her O Lord.
LISA KEI EUNSON 1954-2017
The Reverend Canon Lisa Kei Eunson, Rector of St. Ternan’s Scottish Episcopal Church in Banchory for the last 11 years, passed away from cancer at the Glen O’Dee Hospital on Saturday 17 June. She was 63.
Known simply as “Lisa,” she worked tirelessly for her beloved congregation and embraced the larger Banchory community where she was known for her warm demeanour by children she taught in the schools and by many of the proprietors on High Street. She was also rector of Christ Church in Kindcardine O’Neil, whose ministry cared for those in the village and on nearby estates.
At St. Ternan’s, Lisa nurtured a harmonious and joyful congregation, embracing diversity and championing family ministry. As one of her final initiatives, she left her modest assets to establish Green Shoots Trust, which will fund a family ministry post at St. Ternan’s into the future.
Lisa also was active in a variety of roles in the local diocese and the wider Scottish Episcopal Church. Much of her energy was dedicated to mentoring young priests and lay leaders. In 2014, she was made canon and named the first woman to become a member of the Cathedral Chapter, St. Andrews Aberdeen.
Becoming a priest
An American, Lisa was born in Tokyo, Japan, on May 18, 1954.
Lisa came to ministry later in life. She worked in the U.S. trade show and convention industry until 1998, starting as “the girl at the desk” in 1977 after earning her English Literature degree at San Francisco State University. Her scope of responsibility quickly enlarged and she finished as a senior executive in charge of 27 employees across 5 functions, managing trade show exhibits for major corporations in some of the largest convention venues.
A cradle Episcopalian, she returned to the church in San Francisco after the death of her mother, which led to her calling as a priest. She graduated from Church Divinity School of the Pacific: The Episcopal Seminary of the West in 2001 and was ordained at Grace Cathedral San Francisco in 2002. She was made associate rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Burlingame, California.
Coming to Scotland
During a sabbatical offered by St Paul’s in 2005, she visited Scotland and Shetland on a trip to learn more about her ancestry. After 5 years at St Paul’s, her bishop also reminded her she had a vocation to be a rector. Having survived her first occurrence of cancer in 2006, she aspired to ‘live the dream.’ While searching for a posting, she happened on an opening at St. Ternan’s.
“To find home in Banchory has been the bliss of my final years — to live in a place where you get to know people by name and care for the community within and beyond church walls and to be loved as a family member,” she said. “I have been held in the hammock of everyone’s love and prayers.”