In Memoriam: Patricia Reynolds Wakeling, 1923-2016
Patricia “Paddy” R. Wakeling, former Managing Editor of Applied Optics (AO)
and recipient of the OSA Distinguished Service Award, passed away on 21 September 2016 at the age of 93. Wakeling was known for her boundless energy and expertise in scientific publishing. Over the course of her 30 year career with OSA, Wakeling held several pivotal positions in the Executive Office, including Assistant Secretary under the leadership of OSA Executive Secretary Mary Warga.
Wakeling was born and raised in London, England, and pursued a degree in chemistry. She worked for the Office of Naval Research in London before moving onto Pergamon Press to work with Managing Director Robert Maxwell. Wakeling spent several years at Pergamon Press and gained considerable experience in launching scientific journals. Wakeling joined OSA in 1959 to oversee the Society’s publishing projects and serve as the Assistant Secretary. She was instrumental in the development and success of OSA’s translational journal Optics and Spectroscopy
, having secured a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for its support. Wakeling was the Administrative Editor of Optics and Spectroscopy
. Wakeling also received a NSF grant to underwrite start-up costs associated with Applied Optics
, it was this support that helped persuade the OSA Board to launch the journal. Wakeling served as the Managing Editor of Applied Optics
from its inception and in collaboration with Editor John N. Howard, Applied Optics
went on to become a highly respected, top quality publication with international recognition.
In 1990, Wakeling received the OSA Distinguished Service Award which recognized noteworthy contributions to optics through administration, editorship of a periodical or service to the optical community. She is remembered for her enthusiasm, relentless pursuit of perfection, and ability to speak her mind, sparing no one - be it of colleagues, friends, subordinates, or authority figures. Wakeling was an avid follower of the Washington science and policy scene, and maintained contacts and friendships with many colleagues at government agencies and many of the scientific societies headquartered in the Washington, DC area. She is remembered fondly by the many friends whose life she touched.
OSA and the scientific community mourns the loss of Patricia “Paddy” Wakeling.