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NIH Record


NEI Mourns Donna Phillips

By Linda Huss

A once familiar face at NIH has passed away after 30 years with the federal government, and 29 years with the National Eye Institute.

Donna Phillips

Donna Phillips retired from NEI on May 21, 1999, due to illness. If you've been at NIH for any length of time, you were sure to hear as she passed, "Hi honey, how's everything?" At a Jan. 20, 1999, retirement party, Phillips talked about NEI with affection, " was mostly about the people, I truly loved seeing all my friends at the NEI as well as NIH. I'm sad to be leaving, but because I'm not feeling so well, it's time for me to retire." She battled cancer for the past 2 years, and passed away on Sunday, Oct. 10.

Phillips began working at NEI on Nov. 30, 1969, in the administrative office, arriving as one of the institute's first employees. Prior to joining NEI, she worked as a clerical assistant part-time at the PHS Bureau of State Services, Environmental Health Sciences.

When the NEI staff talks about Phillips, one thing was certain: "All we had to do was look at Donna's face on a Monday morning during football season to know if the Washington Redskins won or lost — face told the story." She was an avid Washington Redskins fan.

After her passing, NEI received a very loving note from Phillips's mother: "The Family of Donna Jean Phillips wishes to express our sincere gratitude to each and every NEI employee who donated leave, provided emotional support or extended a caring word to Donna during her illness. This meant more to her than you will ever know. The caring and sharing approach to such a serious problem by so many people provided blessed relief to Donna and our entire family. Donna is now in good hands with no earthly worries. God bless each one of her NIH friends."

Former NIDR Deputy Director Gardner Dies

Dr. Clair L. Gardner

Former NIDR deputy director and associate director for extramural programs Dr. Clair L. Gardner, 83, died at his home in Grants Pass, Oregon, on Oct. 12. He served as acting director of NIDR from 1975 to 1976 and retired in 1981 after 26 years in the Public Health Service. He is survived by his wife Sara, four children, and five grandchildren.

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