A week and a half ago, I got some sad news. I found out that Giacinta (Gia) Bradley Koontz, a long-time friend and contributor to D.O.M. magazine passed away.
The news came from a friend of hers that had helped her with her article research from time to time. He informed me that she passed while on a trip to Alaska. He didn't know any further details, and I couldn't find any information regarding funeral arrangements. I even tried reaching out to mutual friends with no success.
I first met Gia fourteen years ago at a dedication ceremony hosted by Ken MacTiernan and AMTA. Ken and AMTA had donated a bronze bust of Charles E. Taylor to the Smithsonian Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, and hosted a reception at the museum to celebrate the donation. Gia spoke at the ceremony, giving attendees some background on Charles Taylor. At the time, she was working at the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation and Museum in North Hollywood, CA, Taylor and other aviation pioneers are buried. She would dress in period attire at the Portal and provide guests with information about the aviation pioneers buried there.
After Gia's speech, I walked up to her and introduced myself. I thought that our readers would appreciate a regular historical column on aviation maintenance pioneers and asked if she would be interested in writing a regular column for us. She excitedly said, "Yes!"
How time has flown since that fateful meeting! Over these past 14 years, Gia educated tens of thousands of aircraft maintenance professionals in her regular columns. I learned something from each and every one of them.
She will be missed!