Remembering Russell Coile
Gretchen Purcell Jackson, July 12th, 2011 7:47 am, Nashville, TN United States of America toggle
Dear Coile family,

I was saddened to hear about Russell's passing in June. My family's thoughts and prayers are with you. I feel so blessed to have crossed path's with such an interesting and inspirational character.

I met Russell when I was in graduate school at Stanford, and he was giving away his large Journal of the American Society for Information Science (JASIS) collection. He looked for a place to donate these journals on the ASIS listserv, and I responded that not only would my library love those journals, but that I would be happy to retrieve them in person! I was a graduate student in the new field of medical information sciences in the early 1990s -- right when the Internet was emerging (and we did not have many journals online). Most of my colleagues were doing research on knowledge acquisition in the broad fields of expert systems and artificial intelligence, but I was doing work on how to represent things such as medical journals and textbooks on the Internet. I often needed those JASIS articles, but our library did not subscribe. Several people wanted this collection, and Russell said he chose me because I had an electrical engineering degree as he did.

I made the trip to Pacific Grove and retrieved several years worth of JASIS and ASIS bulletin for our informatics libraary, and they served me well and were a resource for several subsequent students, including the very successful Wanda Pratt, Ida Sim, and Elmer Bernstam. The best part of my visit was the Ellen had prepared a lovely lunch of pea soup. Russell and Ellen continued to provide me with the JASIS issues, sending packages to me at Duke, UMPC, and Vanderbilt, along with delightful notes from Ellen about the latest family activities.

I join you in celebrating Russell's life, and thank you for being a part of mine.

Yours sincerely,
Gretchen Purcell Jackson, M.D., Ph.D.
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