GoFundMe Launched to Raise Funds for Giacinta Bradley Koontz Memorial
A GoFundMe page has been launched by a group of friends (Friends of Gia) of the late Giacinta Bradley Koontz (Gia) to raise funds for a memorial to be placed in her honor at the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation in Los Angeles, CA.
In March of 2020 the aviation community lost one of its most stellar advocates and goodwill ambassadors — the renowned aviation historian, journalist, author and biographer, Giacinta Bradley Koontz , more familiarly known as ‘Gia.’
To pay tribute to Gia’s lifelong dedication and enduring legacy toward the preservation of aviation history, the 'Friends of Gia' have initiated an appeal for funding and placement of a 28’’ x 16” bronze memorial plaque within the interior of the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation and Museum, the final resting place of aviation pioneers who contributed so much to its development. Thanks to Gia’s efforts, the Portal of the Folded Wings was added to the U.S. National Registry of Historic Places in 1998 (see links below).
The group leading the fundraising effort has been in contact with the Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park where the Portal is located. The cost for the plaque is $9050 (adjusted for our GoFundMe transaction fees). Director Of Maintenance magazine (D.O.M.), where Gia was a regular contributing writer on aviation maintenance professionals of the past, contributed $875, which covered the down payment on the plaque.
Gia’s passion for aviation began in 1994 when she became interested in the life of Harriet Quimby, America’s first licensed female pilot. As an anthropologist, Gia’s background included field work in historic archeology, as well as museum curation. Her penchant for digging out primary source documents fueled her love for aviation research. In 1995, when Gia first entered the Portal of the Folded Wings located at Valhalla Cemetery in Northern Hollywood, CA, she vowed to find out everything she could about this unique, ornately domed structure which is the final resting places of over 14 pioneering aviators, including John and Matilde Moisant, Wright Brothers mechanic Charles Taylor and air historian, John Franklin Carruthers.
In her book Pioneer Mechanics in Aviation, she wrote: “Each time I visit the pioneers, I bring a flower to rest on John Moisant's grave, whispering thanks for bringing me to a place of beauty and American history to share with the rest of the world. I wear a Victorian brooch with Charles Taylor's photograph on my lapel. When I am asked who he is I smile and tell them the story of how I went looking for Johnny's grave and found the man who built the Wright Brother's first engine.”
The GoFundMe page can be viewed at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/friends-of-giacinta-bradley-koontz.
The Friends of Gia
For additional information on Gia, visit the following links:
Giacinta Bradley Koontz Biography
Portal of the Folded Wings Register of Historic Places by Gia Koontz
Director of Maintenance magazine (D.O.M.): The Passing of Giacinta Bradley Koontz
Gia Koontz Pioneer Mechanics in Aviation: Finding Charlie's Grave