LeRoy Gonsior

By now most of you know that LeRoy Gonsior passed away in mid-March just shy of his 67th birthday.

Long time close friend and colleague Dave Radford wrote this:

Retired Minnesota Historical Society archaeologist LeRoy Gonsior passed away in the early morning hours of March 12, 2020 from a blood clot. LeRoy graduated from St. Cloud State University in archaeology and started working for the Minnesota Historical Society in 1976 as an Archeologist Field Worker at Fort Snelling. LeRoy has contributed to thousands of projects over the span of his 40-year career with the Society. LeRoy worked for the Trunk Highway Archaeological Reconnaissance Program, the DNR State Park Archeology Program, the DNR Trails and Waterways Archaeology Program, and on various Society projects at Lower Sioux Agency, Historic Forestville, Split Rock Lighthouse, Harkin Store, and C. A. Lindbergh House to name a few. He retired from the Society in June of 2016.

LeRoy was frequently asked by his peers, both inside and outside of the Society, for assistance in identifying lithics and ceramics from Precontact sites. His knowledge of Minnesota archaeology and his ability to discover and record archaeological sites in the field have led to the preservation and interpretation of hundreds of archaeological sites in Minnesota. We will forever be indebted to him.

LeRoy was an avid outdoorsman and sportsman. He also loved to garden and made incredibly wonderful salsa. A gentle giant and a good friend to archaeologists, his passing is a huge loss to Minnesota archaeology. We will miss him.

Here is a link to his obituary  in the Star Tribune  https://www.startribune.com/obituaries/detail/0000349908/

LeRoy was a good friend and colleague.  The breadth and depth of his knowledge of Minnesota archaeology was matched by only a few.  He had probably forgotten more about Minnesota lithics than most of us remember.   When I heard he was gone my first thought was….damn LeRoy I still had lots of questions.

The pictures below were provided by Dave Radford, Stacy Allan and the folks at Maritime Heritage Minnesota.  LeRoy was a people person, most of the images here were cropped to remove other individuals.

3 thoughts on “LeRoy Gonsior”

  1. Leroy was my cousin–We shocked shocked and saddend to learn of his sudden and untimely death. Eternal light shine upon him and may he rest in peace

  2. I had a chance to meet Leroy and go ice fishing with him and a mutual friend not long before he passed. We had such a good time running down a list of mutual connections, sites, topics of interest etc. we realized we were missing a lot of fish. He was so good and gracious to me as an arrowhead hunter and armature. Truly a wealth of knowledge and I was excited for our next visit. It was with sadness when I learned that chance would not come.

  3. LeRoy was my second cousin-My grandpa Tony Gonsior’s nephew I regret not being able to attend his memorial in Delano yester-June 12, 2021. God rest his soul.

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