Monday, August 16, 2010

Remembering Karen Peacock

It is with deep regret and sadness that we report the passing of Dr. Karen Peacock.

Karen Peacock was professor emeritus and retired curator of the Pacific Collection, Hamilton Library, University of Hawai'i at Manoa.  She passed away peacefully on Aug. 13, 2010, after a 10-month battle with cancer.

Karen's career with the UH Library spanned more than 30 years.  She began in the Pacific Collection, where she briefly worked in a temporary position before moving into a tenure-track position with the Social Sciences & Humanities reference department.  She returned to the Pacific Collection in 1980 as a Pacific specialist and in 1987 assumed curatorship of the collection upon the retirement of R. Renee Heyum.  In addition to her work as curator of the Pacific Collection, she also served as department head for the Hawaiian & Pacific Collections (formerly Special Collections) at Hamilton Library from 2001 until her retirement.  Karen became ill late last year and officially retired on Feb. 1 of this year.

Born in Richmond, Ind., Karen spent her childhood years in Micronesia where her father, Daniel J. Peacock, served as the director of library services. After receiving her BA from Earlham College (Richmond, Indiana), she returned to Micronesian, and in Saipan she worked briefly for the Congress of Micronesia, the Adult Education Program, and taught at the Marianas High School.

Karen received her Masters of Library Science in 1973, a MA in Pacific Studies in 1978 and PhD in Pacific History in 1990.  She has more than twenty publications to her credit and served at various times on the editorial boards of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies' Pacific monograph series, Contemporary Pacific, Pacific Studies (BYU-Hawai'i), and the Micronesian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Karen was devoted to the Pacific, especially Micronesia.  She gave a great deal of her time and energy to supporting the work of Pacific libraries and archives and advising and mentoring many of the islanders with whom she came into contact.  In recognition of her efforts, she was honored by the Pacific Islands Association of Libraries and Archives with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.  Other awards bestowed upon her included the Outstanding Alumni Award by the UH School of Library and Information Studies, the UH Library's Nina D.P. Horio Excellence in Librarianship Award, and the Dr. Sarah K. Vann Professional Services Award (UH Library and Information Studies program).

Karen is survied by her life partner, Kim Haines, father Daniel J. Peacock, sister Paula Bertolin (brother-in-law Gordon), brother Daniel L. (sister-in-law Lisa) and nieces Caroline & Beth Bertolin.

Arrangements for a memorial service are still pending at this time.

- Lynette Furuhashi
Stuart Dawrs

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