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Gail Larrick

Published: Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 4:03 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 8:56 a.m.

Gail Larrick, a technical editor who worked on training manuals for Apple Inc., shared her love for writing and editing with her large circle of friends and family.

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Gail Larrick.

A Cloverdale resident, Larrick died Feb. 14 following a sudden illness. She was 74.

Described by those who knew her as a "renaissance woman," Larrick was born on June 5, 1938, in Columbus, Ohio to Don and Beatrix Larrick. Her father worked as a sales engineer for Westinghouse Electric and her mother worked in accounting for Western Electric.

She attended Pickerington High School and received her bachelor's degree at Ohio University-Athens on her birthday in 1960. She went on to receive her master's degree in creative writing from the university in 1985.

"She was very creative in many ways," said Judith Randall, Larrick's younger sister. "She opened doors for me, and opened my eyes and heart to the world."

Larrick lived in many places, including Utah, Washington, Arizona, New Hampshire and, finally, California. She spent many years in the Bay Area before migrating to Sonoma County.

"She was so adventuresome," said Randall, who also noted her sister's ability to make friends with people from all walks of life.

"She never met a stranger. Everyone she met became close friends," Randall said. "People would confide in her, and she had a way of being with people that was very deep."

Larrick worked in publishing and editing for many years, and was active in local writing groups until her death.

Her poem "Shock," about her experience with electric shock therapy, was published at a time when doing so was looked down upon. "You didn't talk about things like that," Randall said. "It was quite a risk."

Larrick briefly taught at the University of Arizona-Tucson, and upon her move to the Bay Area led writing workshops for years. In 2009, she served as a guest poet at the Sonoma County Book Festival.

She also was described as a "spiritual warrior" and spent much of her life studying Buddhism, Sufism and Native American spiritualism and participating in Quaker worship meetings.

"She taught me to be true to myself," said Lois Larrick, her sister. "She helped me blossom."

Larrick is survived by her mother, Beatrix Larrick of Santa Barbara; her sisters, Lois Larrick, who splits her time between Australia and California, and Judith Randall of Carmel Valley. She also is survived by a niece and a nephew.

Memorial services were held Friday at the Redwood Forest Friends Meeting House, 1647 Guerneville Road.

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