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July 10, 2003

OBITUARY: Traci Lee Boles

Graduate School of Public Health staff member Traci Lee Boles died June 27, 2003, following a heart attack. She was 40.

On staff at Pitt since 1993 when she was hired as a secretary in the Office of Facilities Management, Boles held several positions at the University, including engineering dispatcher and work control specialist, also at Facilities Management, and media relations secretary in Athletics.

She came to GSPH’s Department of Epidemiology in March 2002 as administrative assistant at the Epidemiology Data Center, working on SWAN (the Study of Women Across the Nation), which focuses on the experiences and health outcomes of women as they go through menopause.

Friends and colleagues called Boles a generous and caring person who loved the arts.

Patricia Metz said, “I just thought of her as a little angel. We worked together on the administrative staff in epidemiology, and she was incredibly helpful to me. She was very caring and willing to be there for others — she just was a warm and loving person. I think with her warm smile that when you met her, you instantly began to like her.”

Metz added that Boles was a theatre and music lover who, as a side venture, helped maintain the web site of dancer Tommy Tune. She particularly loved theatre music and the symphony.

Colleague Sarah Brockwell said Boles had many friends at Pitt. “Traci was very generous and kind. She always gave of herself. She loved children and she was heavily involved in cultural events of Pittsburgh,” said Brockwell, who is a statistician with the SWAN project.

Boles volunteered at WQED and worked at Heinz Hall and at The Curtain Call, the cafe/gift shop of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

A member of the Pitt Club from 1995 to 1999, she served as Pitt Club board of governors president for two years. She also coordinated the 1999 Association of University Architects conference, co-hosted by Pitt and Carnegie Mellon.

Boles earned an associate degree in retailing from the Bradford Business School, and an associate degree in computer science and accounting at the School of Business in Monroeville, where she also earned an outstanding achievement award.

A native of Sharon, Boles was a member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Hermitage.

She is survived by her parents, Fred H. Boles and Harriet R. Kling Boles.

— Peter Hart

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