Cornelia H. Rea
May 18, 2017 | 2615 views | 0 0 comments | 144 144 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cornelia H. Rea
Cornelia H. Rea
CONCORD, MA- Cornelia (Liela) Humphreys Rea died peacefully on May 2, in Concord, MA.  

Mrs. Rea was born in New York City on October 10, 1934, to Edith and George Humphreys.  She went to the Brearley School, and graduated from Vassar College in 1956, with a degree in art history.  She married Lawrence (Lorrie) Frank Rea, of Huntington, NY, in 1956, and they resided briefly in Oxnard, CA; Willow Grove, PA; Camillus, NY; and Syracuse, NY, before moving to the Conantum neighborhood in Concord in 1963. 

Mrs. Rea served as an active and engaged participant in Conantum events, including the annual Fourth of July celebration and parade. Mr. and Mrs. Rea lived in Conantum until 2005 when they moved to Concord Greene.  They were married for 51 years at the time of his death in 2007.

Mrs. Rea earned her masters’ in education from Northeastern University, and went on to teach in the Framingham K-12 public school system between 1971-1997, specializing in fourth grade education. She was a pioneer of gifted student education programs.  During her career she displayed a love for teaching creativity and critical thinking skills, always encouraging children to think differently and asking, “Why do you think that?”

Mrs. Rea was also a prolific and professional artist who painted in oil, acrylic, and watercolor. Over the course of her lifetime she created a significant body of work that defined her as a passionate and skilled practitioner of the craft, as well as someone with a unique and consistent vision. Her work was included in juried exhibitions and sold through the Southern Vermont Art Center.

She was deeply involved with Trinity Episcopal Church in Concord and part of a healing circle of prayer as well as becoming a group of core parishioners. An avid reader and lover of poetry, she belonged to a local reading group.

Mrs. Rea was curious about other countries and cultures, and traveled throughout the world with her husband, including, Scotland, Italy, Norway, Turkey, China, and Africa.

A lover of natural beauty, Mrs. Rea spent summers with her extended family in West Dover, VT, where she continued to pursue her art, joined the church of Saint Mary’s in the Mountains, in Wilmington, VT, worked on multiple gardens, and produced an oral history account of early 20th century Vermont life called, “Country Folk, City Neighbors.”

Survivors include her sister, Edie Mas; children, Cornelia (Nelie) Barnes Rea, Raymond Rea, Maria Champney Rea, (Jim McKinney); her grandchildren, Priya and Kavi McKinney; and many nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Concord on July 17, at 2 pm, and Saint Mary’s in the Mountains, in Wilmington, VT, on July 22, at 2:30 pm.  

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to WGBH in Boston or Saint Mary’s in the Mountains, Wilmington, VT.

For online guest book visit

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