AIKEN, SC - Nicola “Nikki” Barthen Emerich, age 73, born in Hong Kong, Hong Kong in 1949, daughter of Edwin J Barthen and Gloria Crain Barthen, and wife of the late Brian Emerich, passed away peacefully on July 20th surrounded by her children and son-in-law. She is survived by her two children Maxine Emerich-Jaquish and Alexander Emerich and her two sisters Pandora Barthen and Andrea Barthen.
Nikki lived all over the world but called her home St. Thomas, USVI where she lived with her family for 30 years. Nikki was always destined to live a full life, from when she was a teenager qualifying for the Olympics in backstroke while living in Jamaica; to starting Perseverance theater with her friend in Juno, Alaska, where she met her late husband, Brian. They lived in Spain and wed at the Cathedral of Incarnation of Marbella, then later moved to New York where she modeled and did Off Broadway plays. They moved from the busy city to St. Thomas after the birth of their first child. They fell in-love with the island and the people and called it their permanent home. She was known for her infectious spirit, laugh, and smile that would light up a room, leaving a mark everywhere she went. “The lady was a Legend and a class act.” Being a huge proponent of the arts, she founded Pistarckle Theater and was the producer for 28years, where she also continued to act and carry out her passion for music, art, dance, acting and of course theater.
You could always find mom doing community outreach and finding a way to bring theater from Shakespeare to new local playwrights into the community; making them reachable and fun and had ways of bringing people together. Her general positive outlook always lit a path for so many. She had a love for animals and always found a way to work with horses and her dogs. Her love for animals, community outreach and traveling were passed along to her two children. She will never be forgotten as she touched so many peoples lives and transformed dreams into reality. She will live on in spirit in so many ways, is now watching over us all and reconnecting with her husband Brian.
SHELLHOUSE – RIVERS FUNERAL HOME, 715 EAST PINE LOG RD., AIKEN, SCTo order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Nicola Emerich, please visit our flower store.