12/22/1945 – 9/5/2020
Robert Leonard Herrick died suddenly in Santa Barbara, California, on Sept. 5. He was 74. Robert was known to his friends and family as Bob, Bobby, Judge, Dad and Grandpa. He was a fiercely creative and loving human being who lived life to its fullest and will be dearly missed.
Bob was born in Brooklyn, New York on Dec. 22, 1945, to Harry Herrick and Nettie (Rifshin, Herrick) Cohen, both first-generation New Yorkers of Russian and Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. Bob’s father Harry passed away when he was a young boy, and Bob grew up learning from the strength, wit and intelligence of his mother Nettie, older brother Norton and older sister Marlene.
Of Bob’s many passions, he was above all passionate about his wife, Lois, to whom each morning he would say, “I love you. You’re beautiful.” Bob and Lois met in 1971, when Bob was studying at Fordham University School of Law in New York City, and Lois was an undergraduate at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Three years later, Bob and Lois were married at Madison New Jersey Night Court. In their 46-year marriage, Bob and Lois raised two children and travelled the world.
Bob loved the ocean, the mountains, and great open spaces—referring to the spirit of the land as “God’s Country.” With his beloved Lois always by his side, he visited the great U.S. National Parks, from Hawaii to Alaska and throughout the American West. Bob and Lois visited Europe several times, the Caribbean and Latin America. Not a day passed in Bob’s life that he did not seek joy and discovery. He loved chocolate, dancing, fireworks and sports. He was forever young.
Bob practiced law in Monticello, New York, in his private practice for two decades. He earnestly believed in justice and an unbiased judicial system and he felt the bitter pain of the falsely accused and wrongfully convicted. In his early career, Bob worked for Legal Aid in New York City, and later took on pro bono cases. After retiring from law, he researched cases of men and women inmates who claimed they were wrongfully imprisoned, carrying on years-long correspondences in which he sought to educate prisoners of their rights, and advocate for their appeals to be heard.
In 1995, Bob and Lois moved to Florida to be closer to his mother Nettie Cohen and to enjoy semi-retirement. In Florida, Bob opened the Palm Beach Coin Laundry where he operated a small business for 20 years. In 2014, Bob and Lois moved to Santa Barbara, California to be closer to their daughter Debra and grandson Jonah Ollin. An amateur tennis player his whole life, Bob quickly made friends on the tennis and pickle ball courts. He also volunteered for the literacy program at Santa Barbara Central Library and other organizations he cared about, such as Santa Barbara Symphony’s youth music van, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, and the Teen Court juvenile justice diversion program of the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
Bob was a deeply religious person. He was tremendously curious and inquisitive, and reveled in asking the big questions, finding comfort and beauty in God’s existence. He studied the complexity of Judaism his entire life, and in his final years, he belonged to the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara and the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara.
Bob is survived by his wife Lois Herrick of Santa Barbara; his son Harry (Rachel) Herrick of Oak Ridge, Tennessee; his daughter Debra (Arturo) Heredia Herrick of Ventura, California; his brother Norton (Elayne) Herrick of Mendham, New Jersey; his sister Marlene (Howard) Weiss of Boca Raton, Florida; and his grandchildren Genevieve, Hunter, Evelyn and Jonah Ollin. Bob was predeceased by his father Harry Herrick and his mother Nettie Cohen. Bob also leaves behind many cherished relatives, friends, and tennis and poker buddies.
Robert Herrick was laid to rest in a private ceremony at Santa Barbara Cemetery.