Memorial: Lawrence Leon Tomsyck 1919-2005

Article excerpt

The Plains Anthropologist lost one of its most ardent and long-term supporters with the death of Lawrence (Larry) Tomsyck on October 6, 2005, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Larry's close association with the journal and the Plains Anthropological Society spanned more than three decades, longer than anyone else in the current Plains anthropological community.

Larry was born at Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, on October 7, 1919, one of five sons and two daughters of Alexander and Ann (Shymanski) Tomsyck. He graduated from Wisconsin Rapids' Lincoln High School in 1937. Larry worked in the paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids until entering the U.S. Army in 1942. While in the Army Larry married Janice Mae Volzke of Waco, Nebraska, on June 8. 1944. After service in the Philippines he was discharged from the Army in January 1946.

After the war, Larry and Janice resided in Lincoln, Nebraska, where Larry began working for the Veterans Administration as an administrative clerk. In that capacity he transferred to the Missouri Basin Project of the Smithsonian Institution's River Basin Surveys program in July 1950, and he served as the administrative officer of that office until its transfer to the National Park Service in July 1969. He continued to serve the Missouri Basin Project's successor office, the Midwest Archeological Center, as an administrative officer until his retirement from civil service in March, 1975.

It was while working at the Missouri Basin Project that Larry began his close and long-term involvement with the Plains Anthropologist. His service to the journal and the Society included being an editorial assistant from 1961 through 1966 and service on the Society's board of directors as secretary-Treasurer in 1974-1975, when he retired. In retirement Larry's support of the journal continued through additional repeated terms as secretary-Treasurer from 1978 through 1997, a job he performed with enthusiasm and exceptional competence. Larry's watchfulness over the Society's finances is surely one of the major reasons that the journal has remained well-funded over the years and has always experienced timely publication. With wife Janice and Warren Caldwell, Larry co-edited two cumulative indices to the contents of the Plains Anthropologist and its predecessor, the Plains Archaeological Conference News Letter (Tomsyck and Caldwell 1964; Tomsyck and Tomsyck 1981). …