In Memoriam

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Gail Naomi Ryba ’84

A picture of Gail Ryba

Gail Naomi Ryba ’84, May 7, 2010, at home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from cancer. Gail earned a BA from Reed and a PhD from CalTech in chemistry before entering a postdoctoratal program at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque. She left Sandia in 1999, taking a position as New Mexico representative for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. She then joined the New Mexico Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy, where she served as executive director. Gail was cofounder of the Sandia Bicycle Commuters Group and founder of Albuquerque's first bicycle advocacy group, the Greater Albuquerque Spokes People. “I've always liked to think Portland and Seattle positively influenced and educated my pro-bicycling and pro-environmental values,” she said. The League of American Bicyclists presented her with the 2009 Phyllis Harmon Volunteer Award for her bicycle advocacy, and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson recognized her as a leading voice in promoting bicycling for transportation in the state, proclaiming March 4 as “Ride Your Bicycle in Honor of Gail Ryba Day.” Gail and Tom Robey were married in Santa Fe in 2000. They had one daughter, Lynn. Survivors include Tom and Lynn, and Gail's mother, two brothers, and sister. Her public obituary stated: “Gail's vibrant smile, keen mind, joyful spirit, and melodious voice will remain in the hearts of all the many who knew and admired her.” Best friend Kim Taylor ’84 directs others to the Facebook page Fans of Gail Ryba. “I hope fellow Reedies will join me in celebrating Gail's life and her contributions to all of us.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2010

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