DONALD OWEN MCINNIS
Donald O. McInnis, 65, died peacefully at home in Kailua surrounded by family on June 8, 2017, following a battle with cancer. He was born in Honolulu on June 18, 1951. He departed the islands with his family at age 5 and grew up overseas, most notably in Guatemala City where he became fluent in Spanish. This would later prove to be instrumental in his international role in the scientific community. Don came back to the U.S. for high school in Fairfax, Va., and went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in biology at the University of Virginia in 1973, followed by a Masters in Life Science (1975) and a Ph.D. in Genetics (1978) at North Carolina State University. He met his wife, Peggy, in Raleigh, N.C., in late 1977 and they married on July 21, 1979. Don first took a post with the US Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service in Mission, Texas, focusing on screwworm research and control. In 1982, he returned to Honolulu for a new position with USDA/ARS. While there, he researched methods and developed strains for the detection, control, and eradication of tropical plant pests with an emphasis on Hawaii and the Pacific Basin. In his role as a team leader, Don focused on non-pesticidal technologies for the rearing and release of tephritid fruit flies. His job frequently took him overseas, particularly to Latin America. He retired in 2009 after 29 years with the USDA and applied his expertise to his own consulting company, which took him abroad frequently to assist programs in countries including China, Thailand, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and Mauritius. Don authored or co-authored over 140 publications in scientific journals. Of these, he was the lead author of more than 50. However, Don will be especially remembered among his family, friends and colleagues for his relentlessly optimistic personality, quirky sense of humor and generous nature. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Harry Donald McInnis and Marjorie Edith Graber, and his brother, Ken. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Peggy, son Brian, and daughters Julie (Tim Penge) and Megan, sisters Shelley and Kerry (Mike MacGregor), niece Lia (James Bain), and nephew Todd, great nieces Matilda and Sienna, as well as Peggy's large family in Puslinch, Ontario, Canada, and pups Ele'ele, Talia and Bisquit. Mahalo to St. Francis Hospice and The Queen's Medical Center seventh floor oncology/cardiology unit. Don's Celebration of Life open house will be held on Saturday, June 24, from noon to 4 p.m., at home in Kailua. Donations in his name may be made to St. Francis Hospice, the Cancer Research Institute, and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased