BARBARA HERBICH

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Obituary

HERBICH--Barbara Kathleen, 55, of New York passed away on October 17, 2009, in New York City. Services are set for 1pm Wednesday, October 28, at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Bryan, Texas. Barbara was the daughter of John Bronislaw Herbich (1922-2008), who fled his native Poland during WWII and was a world-renowned ocean engineer, and Margaret Pauline (Boylan) Herbich. A 1972 Bryan High School graduate who studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, she attended University of Strasbourg in France. In 1977, she received her Bachelor of Arts in French literature from UT and then moved to New York and received her Master of Arts degree from Columbia University as a President's Fellow. Her passion for her Polish heritage was ignited when she visited Poland in 1970 with her father and frequently returned to Poland to organize conferences and consult on emerging entrepreneurship in the Eastern bloc. At the time of her death, she was working on two films: a rough cut of a documentary about the persecution of Polish priests by the Third Reich, and another film devoted to the destruction of the Polish intelligentsia under the Nazi occupation. Her films tackled important political and historical topics, giving them a nuanced, human face. "Stitch for Time" was nominated for an Academy Award in 1988 and a later film, "USSR Art," documented the groundbreaking Sotheby's auction of Russian avant-garde and contemporary underground art held in Moscow in 1988. Both were aired on PBS stations. An indefatigable, creative personality with a good sense of humor and finely-honed flare for self-irony, Barbara is survived by her mother, Margaret (Boylan) Herbich; brother, Gregory; sister, Patricia Herbich O'Connor; and nieces, Kaya O'Connor and Aleksandra Herbich. Donations may be made to the Beverly Sills Greenough and Meredith Greenough Multiple Sclerosis Fund, 733 Third Ave., Third Floor, New York, NY 10017. Services are entrusted to Hilli-er Funeral Home, www.hillierfuneralhome.com.

Published in The New York Times on Oct. 27, 2009
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