In Memoriam: Laura Helfrich

July 6, 2006

Laura Helfrich, SIAM's first web mistress and a member of the SIAM staff for more than twenty years, died on June 24 after a three-year battle with cancer.

Laura joined SIAM as an editorial assistant and, in a series of editorial positions over the years, seemed to have found her niche. But as computers and computing became ubiquitous, it was clear that this was her true domain. As she wrote to SIAM executive director James Crowley shortly after it became obvious that she would not be able to continue to work, "Management has always been willing to let me identify and explore my skills. When I found a facility for computers, I was encouraged to develop it. The web came along, and I was supported in my efforts to learn about it and to help develop our site. I believe that I've made a longlasting contribution to SIAM through my efforts on the web. I am very proud of that and grateful that I had the opportunity."

Laura found a home at SIAM, and her courage and determination in the face of loss and illness, along with her loyalty, intelligence, and quick wit, will live on in the memories of her friends and colleagues, and of the SIAM members and authors who worked with her.

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