John William M’Gonigle


Dec. 3, 2019 — A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Dec. 14 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church for John William M’Gonigle, 85, of Florence, who died Oct. 25, 2019, in his home.

John was born May 12, 1934, to Helen and William M’Gonigle in Binghamton, NY, living there before starting his undergraduate work in geology at the Universtiy of Rochester NY.

Time spent in the U.S. Army infantry and the Kansas State Highway Commission preceded completion of his bachelors and masters degrees at the University of New Mexico, and a doctorate in geology at Penn State University.

Career opportunities in field work and office management with the Department of the Interior led him to Wyoming, Montana, Arizona, Puerto Rico and eventually Denver, Colo.

While in Arizona, he worked at the Astro Geological Center in Flagstaff, where he helped devise tools for the Apollo Lunar Mission and mapped the surface of the Moon from photos taken by the Lunar Orbiter.

John enjoyed birdwatching, “practicing” guitar and singing favorite old songs and hymns around the house. He was always kind, always generous and had an easy sense of humor.

He is lovingly remembered by his wife, Jo; his daughters: Ruth (Dale Helmstead) and Sharon (Karen Wright); his stepchildren: Chuck Anderson (Terri Tomei) and Kate Anderson (Chris Pires); his grandchildren: Ian Anderson and Cady Rey (Jade); his great-granddaughter Mia Louise Rey; and a generous supply of loving neices and nephews.

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