Darby Lovell Herrick | AspenTimes.com

Darby Lovell Herrick

It is impossible to sum up the life of someone as lively and loved as Darby in a few paragraphs. Ask any one whose life she touched. Sadly this incredible woman has left us too soon. Her energy as a mother, aunt, sister, daughter and dear friend will linger long beyond her time with us. Her laughter and courage serves as a model for us all.

Darby Lovell Herrick passed away at Aspen Valley Hospital in the early morning hours of March 9, 2010. She was recuperating from a successful liver transplant last June when the Hepatitis C that had challenged her health for decades finally prevailed over her weakened state. Her diminished personal force during her final weeks contradicted the strength and humor that she possessed all through life. Spend five minutes with her sons, Wheeler and Scott, and you know that her long fight with hepatitis C was far from a failure. Her two boys are her proudest gift.

As witnessed, the phenomenal impact of her love and spirit in the Aspen community became more tangible with each visitor who came to say goodbye. Through her final days, friends flooded her with appreciation for each conversation, joke, adventure and experience she shared with them along the way.

Born in Kansas City, Aug. 21, 1949, Darby grew up in Clarence, N.Y. After attending The American School in Switzerland in high school, she went on to receive a degree from Bradford College. Then, there was a quick visit to study dance at NYU before she headed west to Aspen in 1970.

She held court in the kitchens of The Crystal Palace, The Snowmass Club, The Little Nell and for many years at the Sundeck in “salad land.” Most recently, Darby worked her charm and shared her talent as chef at the Pitkin County Senior Center. She was profoundly inspired by the extraordinary support extended by these new found friends.

Darby loved the mountains in any season. Whether in the bumps, tree skiing or hiking with her family and friends, Darby called the high country home. Through the years she came to know her spiritual connection to the mountains as she explored the trails enjoying the serenity and stillness or rocking out to her favorite tunes.

An avid fan of all kinds of music, she closed the Gallery every night in the ’70s and has been dancing ever since. She relished speed, whether on Ajax, in the Bowl or on the road. While she did relinquish her Harley Sportster in favor of motherhood, she passed on her love for speed to her sons. She was proud that she enjoyed all of her passions drug and alcohol free for the past 28 years.

Darby loved irony and humor – still, above all, she was intuitive and kind. She always put her relationships first. No matter how badly she felt, she always greeted people with a smile and an interest in how they are doing. That kindness and gratitude was returned to Darby ten-fold when she was sick. Her Aspen hometown – her community – showed its true character when Darb was down. In her final months Darby was not a patient but a teacher – showing us with her usual grace and gratitude that love is all you need.

Darby is survived by her sons, Wheeler and Scott Clancy, sisters, Georgia (Andy) Hanson, Anne (Jim) Lacy, Patty (Todd) Noble, Wendy (Randall) Terry, thirteen nieces and nephews, and her cherished dog, Cisco. She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Joanne Herrick, and her brother, Mark.

A memorial will take place at the Sundeck on June 13. As always, when celebrating with Darby, bring your dancing shoes.

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