BURLINGTON – Stephanie Slack Herrick died on May 12. She was born October 30, 1938, in South Weymouth, Mass., to Ann Marie Denly and Leo James Slack Sr.
Stephanie lived in New Jersey, Ohio, England, Wisconsin, California, Virginia and Montréal before she found her place in Vermont in 1976. She loved learning. She earned three bachelor’s degrees. The first was in physical therapy from Marquette University, the second in business from the University of Vermont and the third was in English (also from UVM). In 1997, she received a master’s degree from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Jesuit National Honor Society. She also studied in Italy at the University of Perugia, where she felt a special affection for the countrymen of her maternal grandparents. She was licensed to practice physical therapy in 1959 in the state of Wisconsin but did not continue that career. Instead, she became a CPA, licensed in Vermont.
Stephanie was, at one time, a specialist in Canadian-U.S. taxation and wrote a tax guide for professional football players. She founded the accounting firm, Herrick Ltd., in 1980 and sold it to her associates in 1987 and continued to work for them while she studied and traveled. She was appointed to the Vermont Board of Accountancy by governor Madeleine Kunin.
Stephanie loved sports, especially tennis, golf, skiing and windsurfing. She once windsurfed alone across Lake Champlain, from Vermont to New York, picked a flower which she placed in her life jacket, sailed back and wrote a poem about the experience. She stopped often to smell the flowers and listen to the birds, especially while in the tent-camper on her hay field in Greensboro. She continued to ski at Stowe even after she tore her ACL on Hayride in 1990. In 1994, she finally skied Upper National and wrote it into a series of stories about her grandson Andrew. She was overjoyed to get her free ski pass at Smuggs when she reached 70 and at Bolton when she was 75.
She was an active member of the Mountain View Country Club and served as their auditor for 16 years and president for one year. She was a board and finance committee member, but she especially enjoyed being the club publicist, with her weekly articles in the sports section of the Hardwick Gazette. She was occasionally a mixed-doubles tennis finalist but rarely a winner. She did win the women’s singles and, with Gil McArthur, the doubles, in Westmount, Québec, in the early 1970s. Her best golf scores for nine holes were a 40 in 1996 and a 41 in 2000 (She never learned how to putt properly.). With partner Jim Hunt, they won the Calcagni Tournament for low gross three times.
She lived in Burlington for 22 years and served there on the boards of the Burlington Tennis Club and the Chittenden County United Way for six years. She also served as treasurer of the Bill Gray for U.S. Senate campaign in 1988. After living in Greensboro from 1998 to 2014, she returned to Burlington to be closer to family and to downsize. Having volunteered to help do tax returns through AARP for six years in Greensboro, she did the same in Burlington. She continued to play tennis with old and new friends at The Edge and, occasionally, in Greensboro, on the beautiful clay courts at MVCC. Her favorite pastime was sailing her Sunfish on Caspian Lake.
In Greensboro, she was chair, treasurer, and clerk of the works, overseeing the renovation of the Greensboro Free Library from 2008 to 2009. She also served as chair and secretary of the Board of the Greensboro Land Trust and auditor of the Greensboro Association. She quietly gave her professional assistance to several nonprofit organizations in the community, following the example set by her beloved parents.
Stephanie set out to take each grandchild on a trip. Starting with Kelsey, they toured Munich, Prague and Vienna. With Katrine and Kathlyn, they visited Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona. She and Karissa climbed Mount Olympus together and sailed in the Aegean Sea. She and Andrew visited Munich and Istanbul. Izzy, Giulia, and Jack did not have their own trip with her, but they have skied, biked, cooked and played together in various countries. In 2019 she lost her grandson Clark, whose courage in the face of cancer set the bar for her.
In three later years, she spent a winter month in Mexico to study Spanish. She spent a month in Munich trying to learn German and thrice sojourned in Italy to learn Italian. She intended to spend time writing and compiling all the correspondence she has kept throughout the years, both letters and emails. Instead, she has been a volunteer guardian ad litem in Chittenden County Family Court.
Stephanie Slack married John M. (Jack) Herrick of Bismarck, N.D., in 1959, and they were divorced in 1975, before he died of cancer in 1980. She is survived by her children and their families: Mike and Ellen Herrick, Kimberley and Charles Schmitt, Steven and René Herrick, M. Catherine (Katy) and Andreas Herrick; her brother David and his wife, Linda; and several nephews and nieces. She is predeceased by her older brother Leo. She is survived by her cousins, for whom she had much affection. She is also survived by Jack’s siblings and their children, who remain close to their cousins. She has had a few very dear friends and companions, chief among them being Erich Walka.