LaVada died peacefully in her sleep of natural causes on April 7, 2013. She was 95.
LaVada was born the oldest daughter of Elisabetta and Francesco Nudo, who immigrated from Serra Pedace, Italy, to Stanfield, Ore. She was one of eight children, all born in Stanfield. She graduated from Stanfield High School and in September 1939 married Howard Knowlton Herrick.
During World War II she worked on the audit crew at the Umatilla Army Depot. In the 1940s she had three children and became the chief cook for the Herrick ranch hands. Her cooking skills were legendary and in later years she was a well-known cook at the Y Café.
Her home was always the R&R place for her many Portland relatives and she took particular joy in housing all who wanted to attend the Pendleton Round-up. She was a member of the Pollyannas ladies club in Stanfield for 70 years and served on the Stanfield Public Library board. After her husband died in 1990 she led a peaceful life on the Herrick family farm until the last three years of her life, when she moved to Milwaukie, Oregon, to be cared for by her children.
She is survived by son Charles Herrick of Tualatin, daughters Mary Sorensen of Milwaukie and Janice Martin of Prineville, sister Gena Nudo Cummings of Milwaukie, brother Frank Nudo of Portland, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
LaVada requested no funeral service or flowers and suggested any remembrances go to the Stanfield Public Library at P.O Box 489, Stanfield, OR 97875.