Remembering Abel M. Dominguez, PhD


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Abel M. Dominguez, PhD Editor Emeritus, Journal of Forensic Sciences

Source: Michael A. Peat, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Forensic Sciences

It is with great sadness that I share the news of the passing of Abel M. Dominguez, PhD, on August 29, 2019. Abel served as the Editor of the Journal of Forensic Sciences (JFS) from 1974 to 1992. He followed a long line of distinguished forensic scientists—Dr. Samuel Levinson, Dr. Morton Mason, and Dr. Charles Stahl.

In a 1992 Editorial, Dr. Robert Gaensslen wrote a farewell to Abel as the Editor and I quote from that Editorial, as it describes an extraordinary man:

“Rarely in a career does one have the opportunity to applaud the efforts and accomplishments of anyone so deserving of accolade and appreciation as my predecessor. In April of 1992, Dr. Abel Dominguez turned over the reins of this journal. He was Editor for 18 years, and Associate Editor for two years before that. The readership and the entire membership of the Academy are enormously indebted to him for his outstanding and extraordinarily long service for our profession. Under his quiet but efficient care, the journal has grown about four-fold since the early 1970s. We have published close to 1,800 pages in 1992. At the same time, the high quality of published work has been consistently maintained. Submissions to the journal are at an all-time high, and the international character of the journal continues to grow.”

Although the JFS has continued to grow since 1992, it is the foundations of quality and excellence practiced by our early Editors including Abel that both Bob and I have attempted to continue. JFS would not be what it is today without these foundations. Thank you, Abel.

I first got to know Abel in the 1990s, as he was also a member in the Toxicology Section. Whenever I talked to him, I remember he always offered tidbits of advice and guidance. He continued to mentor me when I was appointed Editor and was very helpful in those early years.

Abel’s contributions to JFS and the Academy were recognized by AAFS, in him being awarded the Distinguished Fellow Award in 1990 and the Gradwohl Medallion in 1993. He was one of first five Distinguished Fellows recognized in 1990.

His beloved wife, Doris, often accompanied Abel to the AAFS Annual Scientific Meeting. She was his assistant for 20 years during his tenure as JFS Editor and Associate Editor. She was also his devoted co-traveler, and they loved to travel, especially sailing on the eastern coast of the United States. Interestingly, Abel passed away on their 60th wedding anniversary—almost to the hour of when they became husband and wife on their wedding day.

Abel will be sorely missed not only by his family, but also by all of us who were fortunate to have known him. I, for one, will be forever grateful to have had the privilege to be a colleague and friend.