Luther Kent Herrick, Jr.
Luther (Lou) Kent Herrick, Jr. peacefully passed away on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, in Lynden, WA at the age of 84. Lou was born on Sunday, March 20, 1938, in Beverly, Massachusetts to Luther Kent Herrick, Sr. and Hazel Harmon. At age 18, he enlisted in the Army and served three years in Alaska. After his discharge, he completed an electrical engineering degree at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Lou initially specialized in medical physics and worked in the early development of CT and PET scanning equipment for the treatment of cancer. In his spare time, he became a pilot as well as a flight instructor and often flew himself around the U.S. for his work. He then spent much of his working life in world-wide technical sales for cancer treatment equipment. Lou learned that the secret to success in sales (and in life) is to listen to what the needs of the customer (or other person) are and then help to find a way to solve problems rather than telling them what you think they need to do!
Lou was an avid boater and lived aboard his boat, “Challenge”, for many years in Seattle and Blaine, WA. As he neared retirement, he became an active member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in King County and Whatcom County WA for 20 years. He was a gifted instructor, teaching boating safety to recreational boaters as well assisting fellow Auxiliarists in meeting Coast Guard requirements for maritime patrols and assisting boaters in distress. He also conducted voluntary safety inspections of recreational and commercial boats in the Puget Sound area.
Lou completed active-duty U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety and Environmental Protection training programs, earning the prized Auxiliary Trident qualification. He then assisted the Coast Guard in District 13 in a number of capacities, such as an initial responder to oil spills, a radio watchstander at Coast Guard Station Bellingham, and administrative staff duties.
He was a trained FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) worker for the last 12 years assisting people all over the country affected by disasters such as hurricanes, landslides, wildfires, oil spills, and even a bird flu epidemic. He took great satisfaction in helping people who had suffered such losses to be able to rebuild their lives through assistance from the Federal government.
Lou was also loyal and caring to his family and friends. He especially enjoyed the time he spent with his family, sharing picnics, family stories, and adventures. He is survived by his daughter Robyn and his 5 grandchildren: Anthony, Hassannah, Sakina, Azura, and Abraham. Robyn remembers him teaching her how to handle a boat when she was small and he helped build her self-confidence. She learned a good work ethic and set of values from his example and wisdom. Lou shared 17 years with his partner, Kathryn Wellington, who was also in the Auxiliary. His witty sense of humor was known to all who knew him and carried many of us along his winding paths of “shaggy dog stories”! Lou had an inquiring mind and always enjoyed a good “discussion”. He had a tagline on his email that read: “Always drink upstream of the herd.”
Lou Herrick lived an extraordinary life through his contributions to cancer research and technical sales, his love for flying and flight instruction, and he served his country well in the Army, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Coast Guard and FEMA. Especially important to him is the time he spent with his family – his daughter and five grandchildren. He is respected by all who knew him as a man who could “get things done” and he will be missed.