Lydia Corser — mother, wife, granola girl, bird lover, swimmer extraordinaire and protector of the planet — passed way at home on a recent sunny morning with family at her side. Though she was only 54, she always felt that she had lived a good, full life.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, she soon relocated with her mother to Colorado where she lived most of her childhood and teen years. During that time, her gold standard for Thanksgiving gatherings was developed at her aunt and uncle’s turn-of-the-century converted schoolhouse home. Always active, she spent many joy-filled summer vacations visiting San Francisco, roller-skating in Golden Gate Park, her big curly hair trailing behind her. Never one to shrink from a challenge, Lydia studied for a time at UCSC before returning to Colorado and graduating from Colorado State, Fort Collins, with a degree in Wildlife Biology. Northern California, however, continued to call to her and she soon returned to the East Bay.
A new job brought Lydia to Santa Cruz. As luck would have it, the move and the ‘89 Earthquake coincided within the same week. Once settled, Lydia soon discovered her passion for redefining living spaces and continued her education at West Valley College, receiving her second college degree, this one in Interior Design. After honing her skills for several years in the employment of others, Lydia struck out on her own, launching Eco Interiors, a design business with an emphasis on sustainability. The business flourished as word spread about her creativity and use of color, her ability to listen and to get inside her clients’ heads, and her skills as an informal marriage counselor.
The birth of her daughter revealed a new side of Lydia – protective mama bear, women’s soccer enthusiast, and keeper of the family’s widening social calendar. Family travel came into her life and she embraced it with wonder and enthusiasm, as she did with most things in her life. Whether it was cycling in Portugal and Italy, exploring Paris for her 50th birthday, or shipboard in Antarctica taking a polar plunge or on the bridge with binoculars spotting the next iceberg or pelagic bird, her spirit and optimism were endlessly inspiring.
On the eve of the great recession, Greenspace Company came into Lydia’s life. The purchase of the business began an exciting, yet stressful 10-year journey in brick-and-mortar retail. It was a new opportunity for her to educate the Santa Cruz community on how the choices they make deeply affect the planet and to provide products and services that protect health and the environment. Pity the person who did not recycle, threw a cigarette butt on the ground, or delivered a beverage with a plastic straw in her presence. Never one to mince words, Lydia was the person that would say what everyone else in the room was thinking but were afraid to voice. However, everything she said and did was always with an open, generous heart and the best of intentions.
Lydia loved Santa Cruz and living by the water. The abundant bird and sea life brought her joy every day. She greeted many a morning running the family dog, Ruthie, at Its Beach or Antonelli Pond. Here she developed a community which sustained her during the rough times and brought her laughter during the good. She will be greatly missed and remembered fondly.
She is survived by her husband, Brian Corser; daughter, Isabel Corser; mother, Tracey Adams of Greeley, Colorado; and many more family and friends who loved her dearly.