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After a four-year long struggle with a rare form of appendix cancer, Barbara Erickson died January 15 at her home in Newton surrounded by her family, announced The Trustees.

Erickson became the first female president of The Trustees of Reservations in 2012, and more than doubled the size of the organization in her less than ten-year tenure. She secured and transformed some the organization’s most loved properties, like Crane Estate in Ipswich and deCordova Sculpture Museum in Lincoln.

“She contemplated the ‘forever’ part of our work deeply and never stopped thinking about how to make the organization better, more sustainable, and secure for a far-off future that she would not see,” said Peter Coffin, the Trustees’ board of directors chair, in a statement.

Erickson is survived by her partner, Peter Torrebiarte, and their two children, Lucia and Marcelo Torrebiarte—her “trio of light.”

She lived a vibrant life and was known for her love of travel, visiting 50 countries in her lifetime—she even climbed Macchu Picchu in her third year of cancer. She was passionate about the outdoors and exploring, and took pride in opening new nature spaces for the public to enjoy. She was named Conservationist of the Year by Northshore Magazine in 2017.

“Nature, specifically the coast, brought enormous healing and peace to Barbara throughout her life and even in her waning months, her sly smile would return when on the sand or in the water,” reads Erickson’s obituary. “While her spirit roamed free of this material world on January 15, it will always be found in the salt and sea, look for her there.”

To read her full obituary, click here.

To read The Trustees’ statement, click here.