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In Memoriam: Gail Forbes

Gail Forbes at her retirement luncheon in March 2006.
Photo by Joyce Merrick.

Patricia Gail Forbes, one of the pioneers of UH astronomy, passed away on October 15, 2006, at her home in Hilo. Forbes was hired in 1973 as administrative officer for UH Telescopes Operations on Mauna Kea. Together with Tom Krieger Sr., she established the support infrastructure for observatory operations on the island of Hawaii. She moved to Mauna Kea Observatories Support Services (MKSS) when it was created in 1978, and helped set up the MKSS policies and procedures that are still used today. She worked at MKSS until her retirement in February 2006. Illness forced her to take a leave of absence during the final three years of her employment.

Gail Forbes was born in Honolulu and grew up in Hilo. She graduated from Hilo High School and attended college on Maui. After spending a few years working in Minnesota, she returned to Hawaii and worked briefly for Petroglyph Press in Hilo before beginning her career with UH. For years, she took Hale Pohaku reservations over the phone, so for many of us, she was the "voice of MKSS." She is missed by all who knew and worked with her.