Virginia Salisbury

Virginia Salisbury

Virginia Salisbury

Virginia (née Long) Salisbury, a fixture in the Helderberg Hilltown community, died on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. She was 91.
Born to Elmer and Stella (née Winnie) Long on Oct. 7, 1930, in New Salem, she grew up on the Long Farm Dairy in East Berne.

She was a lifelong member of the Thompson’s Lake Reformed Church where she served as a Sunday school teacher and deacon. She also served as a cook in the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District.

“Virginia had an innate caregiving drive,” her family wrote in a tribute, “which included her proudest professional accomplishment with her decades at the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (known at the time as the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities) as a mental-health occupational therapy aid.

“Her compassion for individuals with developmental disabilities, particularly children, extended beyond her office. On weekends, she volunteered caring for children in her home. She received numerous awards for her care for individuals with developmental disabilities.

“Virginia had a lifelong passion for nature, especially gardening in all its varieties. For many years, she raised monarch butterflies in her garden. Virginia loved owls and her grandchildren enjoyed many days enjoying her collection of owl pictures and ceramics — a room they fondly called ‘Grandma’s owl room.’ 

“Virginia was also a lover of language. Over her life, Virginia read thousands of books, played countless hours of Scrabble, and mastered a variety of word puzzles. She often instilled her passion for reading — and education — in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

“Virginia was a proud, dedicated, hardworking mother to Patti Wolford (Paul) of Canastota, New York, Peggy Cooke (Kevin) of Voorheesville, Bonnie Krasher (James Loso) of Saranac Lake, New York, Gary Salisbury (Tracy) of Knox, and Bradley Salisbury (Lisa) of East Lawn Meadow, Massachusetts. Her love for them endured until her final breath.

“Virginia adored her grandchildren: Jeremy Wolford, Rebecca Manry, Melissa Serwanski, Joshua Serwanski, Judd Krasher, Garrett Krasher, Elizabeth Loso, Nicole Salisbury, and Megan Salisbury. Virginia is also survived by 10 great-grandchildren.”

Her brothers — Albert, Kenneth, and Peter Long — died before her. She is survived by her sister Marjorie (née Long) Burnett of South Carolina.

Her family will hold a celebration of life on Thursday, Sept. 1, at 11 a.m, in John Boyd Thacher State Park at the Pear Orchard Site. The celebration will be led by Rev. Col. Eric W. Olsen. All are welcome to attend.

Memorial messages may be left at

In keeping with her long history of contributing to aid for disabled veterans, memorial contributions may be made to: Disabled American Veterans, Post Office Box 1430, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301 or

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