Dian Jeannine Herrick
Dian Jeannine (Coughlin) Herrick died from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease on October 16, 2020. She was born in Portland, Oregon in 1942 and later moved with her parents Joseph and Sigrid and sister Patricia to Seattle’s Central District. Her younger brother Michael was born a few years later.
Dian attended Immaculate Conception grade and high schools, graduating in 1960 with honors as class valedictorian. She met and fell in love with John D. ‘Jack’ Herrick after a blind date in 1958. She attended Seattle University until the couple married in 1961 at Immaculate Conception Church in Seattle. Jack and Dian recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary. They have two sons, John and David.
Dian built a life centered on family and friends. She was a Cub Scout Den Mother, soccer mom before the term existed, coach’s wife and number one cheerleader for her kids. She sliced hundreds of oranges and made countless gallons of Gatorade for her sons’ soccer teams. She was a consummate sandwich maker who filled Scooby Doo and Peanuts lunchboxes with treats that were (usually) the highlight of their days at school.
She instilled values of open-mindedness, fairness and equality in her kids. She salved scraped knees and bruised egos, only occasionally having to wash mouths out with soap and water. She cooked meals at home virtually every night, including ‘70s favorites like meatloaf, tuna casserole, hamburgers, sloppy joes and pizza.
Dian did things that perplexed her kids, like hosting poetry parties (AKA wine drinking with Robert Frost) and playing folk music.
She took up tole painting as a creative outlet and created a group of like-minded painters who became lifelong friends. She had a creative knack for possibilities and beauty in discarded items, junk store finds and antiques.
She loved to garden, arrange flowers, shop tag sales, dig in the yard for treasures, and engage in any number of creative and craft endeavors. She loved old houses and antiques and had a great gift for converting old things into useful and beautiful elements in the home and garden.
Dian was the family historian. She remembered everything and documented it - the date the dogwood trees were planted; the person for whom each rose bush was dedicated; the dates of birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and all manner of other life events for people known and barely known by the family. Her kitchen calendar notes were legendary. As were her beautiful renditions of happy birthday, delivered in two-part harmony, over the phone.
Dian and Jack took their kids camping in the Cascade and Olympic Mountains. They fished for trout, swam in Icicle Creek, picked huckleberries and ate S’mores. Together, they showed their kids (and all around them) what loyalty to family, friends and spouse looked like in daily practice. Dian and Jack taught them that your word was your word and that reliability mattered.
Dian saw the best in everyone. She was caring, compassionate and deeply forgiving.
She had a silly sense of humor and never took herself or life too seriously.
As the boys grew up, Dian worked as a teacher’s aide at Renton Vocational Technical Institute and St. Paul Parish School. In her later years, she was active in the choir and Society of St. Vincent de Paul at St. Francis Xavier Church in Toledo, Washington.
She was a wonderful and creative grandmother who invented activities to entertain, amuse and engage her granddaughters.
After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Dian spent her time surrounded by family and friends, and remained comfortable, mischievous and happy to the end.
She died at home with family at her side.
Dian was predeceased by her father Joseph Coughlin, mother Sigrid (Forstrom) Coughlin, sister Patricia and brother Michael.
She is survived by her loving husband, Jack, her sons John (wife Pam) and David (wife Helen) and two beautiful granddaughters Taylor and Eva.
A memorial service will be announced in the months ahead when family and friends can gather safely.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to:
The Church of the Immaculate Conception (elect "Special Donations" and in the box mention “in memory of Dian Coughlin Herrick”)
The Alzheimer’s Foundation
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Care of St. Francis Xavier Church
139 Spencer Rd
Toledo WA 98591-9705