The Herrick family, along with all our friends and loved ones, wish to celebrate and remember Lydia Brishen Herrick, 42, lost to us suddenly on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. She was born on August 10, 1975 to Patricia Marie Herrick after a bumpy dawn plane ride from Block Island to South County Hospital in Wakefield, Rhode Island.
Lydia attended Hook Elementary school, a block from her Westbrook home, where her cat Oliver also insisted on attending classes regularly. She graduated Troy High School in 1993, playing both the violin and hooky with great enthusiasm. She was an artist from early days, throughout school and life, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 1998 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
After college in Chicago, Lydia lived in Tucson, AZ; Austin, TX; and Santa Fe, NM. She returned to Troy where she met and fell in love with her partner for life, Harry M. Moore, who precedes her in death. Their work together in recovery and mental health advocacy was a special bond and force for good in their lives and communities. They shared a true love story.
An enthusiastic and talented chef, Lydia honed her talents in several restaurants and bakeries around the country and continued to enrich and expand our family’s table and recipe books. She was as fearless in the kitchen as she was in life, combining unexpected ingredients and bringing out the best in exotic mixtures and spices. Lydia’s sophisticated taste was broad and always eclectic.
Lydia’s art was equally bold and startling in its range. Whether large or small, her oil paintings were visually rich, raw, emotional, and challenging, while her abstracts felt like memories. Lydia often painted studies in nature, particularly horses and landscapes. There was always a subtle twist of fun or reference. Throughout her art was a common theme of intellect and talent. Her flair for style included her imaginative personal fashion, often surprising herself with her creations. Lydia was always original.
A gifted horsewoman, Lydia spent countless hours working with and caring for horses. She loved her many years as a leader and trainer at Eagle’s Wings Therapeutic Riding Center where she placed beautiful children on gentle horses, often aiding their families in offering unique treatment and true joy.
Lydia was an eager and reliable fundraiser, volunteer, docent, and kitchen hand. Her artwork was featured in many silent auctions and sales in benefit of a variety of causes and organizations. Lydia’s commitments to others and the community were unstinting. She was an example to all of us with her conviction in action, inspiring us to think of her each time we manage kindness and thoughtful aid around us. Her pure, gentle spirit of mercy, charity, and humility were hallmarks of Lydia’s many hours spent working at soup kitchens, food pantries, recovery programs, women’s organizations, the Overfield Tavern Museum, and other volunteer efforts throughout the county.
An avid reader across all genres of literature, Lydia was part of a family of book-swappers and lovers of good tales. A recommendation from her always compelled family and friends to read a book soon, happy to share her enthusiasm and discovery.
She had recently begun examining books from area libraries, helping to organize the most rare and valuable for future sale. It is characteristic of Lydia that her exceptional talents and quiet passion to help combined in the behind-the-scenes work she loved.
Her consuming passions were on clear display to all who knew her; art, travel, food, and fashion – but always giving of herself to those who were hardest pressed and farthest away from love and support.
Surrounded as she was by love and family, raised with a large helping of cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and a dash of Jesuits, Lydia had that rare capacity of gentle reassurance and a pure presence, so special in a tribe of talkers and story-tellers.
A constant companion and comfort to her late grandmother Gloria Herrick, she is survived by her mother Patty and step-father Sean Finnigan of Troy, OH; uncles and aunts: Richard Herrick (Sherry) of Cincinnati, OH; Mary Luttrell (Eldon) of St. Paris, OH; Martha Bravo (Alexandre), of Vero Beach, FL;Andrew Herrick (Crystal) of Tipp City, OH; Christopher Finnigan of Toledo, OH; and cousins: Givon Struble, Christopher Herrick, Kasia Sandlin, Erin Elliott, Jesse Luttrell, Priscilla Luttrell, Alix Luttrell, Gabriel Herrick, Jacob Herrick, Molly Herrick, Alicia Bravo, Rachel Herrick, Emily Herrick, Dominick Herrick, Molly Miles, and Erin Finnigan.