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Robert George Kingsley

November 6, 1951 ~ February 17, 2024 (age 72) 72 Years Old

Robert Kingsley Obituary

Robert (Bob/Weasel) George Kingsley, age 72, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, passed away Saturday, February 17, 2024, at Paoli Hospital.

Born November 6, 1951, in Hollywood, Florida, he was the son of the late Donald George Kingsley, Jr. and the late Vivian Edding Kingsley.

Bob grew up in Holland, Michigan, and graduated from Holland Public High School. He completed his undergraduate degree in anthropology and archaeology from Grand Valley State University. He earned a master’s degree in anthropology from Western Michigan University specializing in ceramic analysis. Bob was an accomplished flintknapper who could turn a cobble of flint into fantastic replicas of prehistoric chipped-stone tools. He gave many demonstrations and taught others to work flint. Bob was accepted into the Ph.D. program at Michigan State University (MSU), continuing his studies in archaeology. As a graduate student, he had an office in the MSU Museum and was given the opportunity to teach and do research that ultimately led to completing his dissertation in 1985 (“Kin Groups and Mortuary Practices: Ethnographic Implications for Archaeology”). Bob also became a member of the Committee on Michigan Archaeology, the oldest professional archaeological organization in Michigan.

While working on his dissertation, Bob took a job directing excavations at Lower Blacks Eddy in southeastern Pennsylvania. From that moment, Bob became fascinated with Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic archaeology. This led him to his first professional job as an archaeologist for John Milner Associates in West Chester, Pennsylvania (JMA), where he worked for 24 years. Bob quickly moved up the ladder and ultimately became a Principal Investigator and Senior Project Manager. Bob also joined the Pennsylvania Archaeological Commission, the professional organization for archaeology in Pennsylvania. He managed surveys and excavations across both Mid-Atlantic and New England locations. It was during this time that Bob acquired the nickname “Weasel,” the origin of which is only known by his closest friends.

Toward the end of his career, Bob worked as Senior Archaeologist for URS Corporation (now AECOM) in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, for three years. Here, he teamed up with two other colleagues who collaborated on developing a model to predict the locations of prehistoric archaeological sites across the entire state of Pennsylvania.

Bob’s encyclopedic knowledge and breadth of fieldwork experience was unparalleled, and he was the author, co-author, or editor of more than 200 professional archaeological and historic preservation reports, more than 20 publications in professional journals, and numerous papers presented at professional meetings. His colleagues will miss his intensity, passion, and wry sense of humor.

Bob’s other interests included trains, both full-size and model trains, especially those of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Traveling throughout the Mid-Atlantic and New England gave him the opportunity for impromptu train spotting. Bob even took an Amtrak train so he could experience the infamous “Horseshoe Curve” of the former Pennsylvania Railroad in person. At age six, he began building models of cars, planes, trains, ships, and armor right through his freshman year in college. After a hiatus, he regained interest in model railroading. For the past several years, he concentrated on 1/48-scale aircraft. He was featured in the WWII section of Fine Scale Modeler, “Painting a Desert-Scheme Stuka” (December 2001) which detailed painting tricky Luftwaffe camouflage. He was a WWII enthusiast and lover of military history.

He and Sarah were happiest when travelling…Eastern and Central Europe, Italy, Bermuda, visiting friends in Puerto Rico, Florida, and especially trips back home to Michigan to spend time with family.

Robert is survived by his longtime partner and traveling companion Sarah Jane Ruch, siblings Nanette Covington, Tom Kingsley (Kathy), Tracey Bruursema (Tom), loving nieces and nephews, and two house rabbits.

Relatives and friends are invited to his visitation on Saturday, March 16, 2024 from 10:00 am - 10:45 am at DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc. 410 North Church Street West Chester, PA 19380; followed by his Funeral Service at 11:00 am.

Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Southeastern PA DE House Rabbit Society, 478 E Ayre St, Newport, DE 19804.

Arrangements by DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc. of West Chester, Pennsylvania, 610-696-1181; www.DellaFH.com

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Services

Visitation
Saturday
March 16, 2024

10:00 AM to 10:45 AM
DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc.
410 N. Church St
West Chester, PA 19380

Funeral Service
Saturday
March 16, 2024

11:00 AM
DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc.
410 N. Church St
West Chester, PA 19380

Interment will be Private

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