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Thomas Perkins Myers

Thomas Perkins Myers

  • Updated

December 28, 1941 - August 31, 2020

Thomas Perkins Myers was born on December 28, 1941, in Buffalo, NY, to John H. and Elisabeth (Perkins) Myers. He grew up in Wilmette, IL, where he earned his Eagle Scout Award. He graduated from New Trier High School in 1959 and earned his B.A. degree in anthropology from Beloit College in 1963, where he lettered as a member of the men's swim team. He started graduate studies in anthropology and archeology at the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana in 1963.

He married Roberta "Bobbie" Samuel of Hinsdale, Illinois on January 23, 1965, at Hinsdale United Church of Christ. As a Fulbright Scholar, Tom conducted field research in Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia. While completing his doctorate, he taught anthropology at both Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. He earned his doctorate from UICU in June 1970 and continued teaching and serving as curator of collections at the Indiana University Museum until he, Bobbie, and son Phillip moved to Lincoln in June 1975.

From 1975 until 2009, Tom served as curator of anthropology at the University of Nebraska State Museum (UNSM), while also teaching anthropology and museum studies courses. Tom specialized in the history and culture of the upper Amazon and also developed a specialization in the archeology of the Great Plains. During his career, he served as the deputy director of UNSM and acting director and designed and curated multiple exhibits at UNSM. He held memberships in the American Anthropological Association, Plains Anthropological Society, Nebraska Archeological Society, Society for American Archeology, and American Association of Museums. He was instrumental in the founding of the Midwestern Conference on Andean and Amazonian Archeology and Ethnohistory.

Tom was a member of the Lincoln Stamp Club for many years and involved with Westerners International (Lincoln Corral). He also served as assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 63 at Southminister Methodist Church and was chair of the Thunderbird Division and Executive Board of the Cornhusker Council, BSA.

His marriage to Bobbie ended in divorce. He married Joan Dayton in Lincoln on April 26, 1990; that marriage ended in divorce. Tom married Cherie Ginter Moran in Dover, KS, on July 21, 2007, and they relocated to Gordonsville, VA following Tom's retirement. Tom developed an interest in local Virginia history and also continued to judge and display his own stamps at stamp shows throughout the United States.

He is survived by his son Phillip (Kristin Ahlberg) Myers, Alexandria, VA; grandson John Ahlberg Myers, Alexandria, VA; wife Cherie Moran Myers, Gordonsville, VA; cousins Elizabeth (Clifford) Maine, Ann Potter (Milton) Herchenrider, and William Sheridan; stepdaughter Laura Moran; step-grandson Blake Moran; step-granddaughter Jaycee Moran; step-great granddaughter Addie Moran; and former wives Roberta Myers and Joan Myers. He was preceded in death by his father John Myers, mother Elisabeth (Perkins) Myers Bain, step-father Wilfred Bain, uncle and aunt Edward and Margaret Perkins, uncle and aunt Dale and Dorothy Ford, cousins Barbara Perkins Sheridan and John (Brynne) Potter, and step-daughter Sandra (Cheryl) Moran Pletcher.

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