Gale Wendell Monson

Obituary
5 entries
  • "One could never find truer friends than Gale and Sally..."
    - Richard Holden
  • "The best neighbors ever! We miss Gale and Sally and think..."
    - Jennifer and Barry Gillaspie
  • "Please accept my deepest sympathies."
    - Jake Crellin
  • "Thanks for all the birding and naturalist books you wrote...."
    - Cori Hoag
  • "Our sympathies, prayers and thoughts. We remember Gale..."
    - Bill Roe
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Gale Wendell Monson Naturalist and Author Gale W. Monson, born August 1, 1912, passed away peacefully at his Albuquerque home on February 19, 2012. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 54 years, Sally. He is survived by his five children: Rosemary Remacle (Sunnyvale, CA); Margaret Monson (Seattle, WA); Fred Monson (Lehigh Acres, FL) and his Albuquerque daughters, Anne Monson and Ruth Bear and their respective husbands, J.G. Alaimo and David Bear. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Born in Munich, North Dakota, Gale studied the natural world throughout his life, from his early years on his parents' farm and through almost a century of living, this was his passion. He spent his professional life working for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Soil Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. His work assignments took him and his family to Albuquerque, Gallup and Socorro, New Mexico; Parker, Yuma, and Tucson, Arizona and Washington D.C. As part of the "greatest generation," he served in the U.S. Army medical service corps in the Burma-India theater during WWII. Gale loved the Sonoran Desert and spent the bulk of his life's work there, where he contributed greatly to its study. His greatest passion was ornithology, but he had an abiding love for the study of the natural world in its entirety. He moved to Arizona in 1934 where he worked until 1940 as a biologist on Papago (now Tohono O'Odham) and Navajo tribal lands, as well as for the Soil Conservation Service in Arizona and New Mexico. In 1940 until 1969, except for time spent in the Army during WWII, he worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at refuges in New Mexico and Havasu and Imperial National Wildlife Refuges on the Colorado River, and on the Kofa and Cabeza Prieta Game Ranges in Arizona. From 1971-1977, Gale served the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum as the supervisor in charge of weekends, holidays and as acting director in the absence of the director. He is best known as one of the authors of The Birds of Arizona, as well as The Desert Bighorn, The Birds of Sonora, and The Annotated Checklist of Arizona Birds. Gale also authored and edited numerous other publications during his career. He was a prolific writer and record keeper; Southwestern ornithologists continue to refer to his extensive written records of bird sightings. Gale influenced numerous people throughout his life and will live on in the hearts and memories of his family and many friends. A Memorial Service will be held in Tucson on Sunday, March 18, 2012 please contact a family member for details. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Gale Monson Research Grant fund of the Arizona Field Ornithologists at www.azfo.org/grants.html. Arrangements by REFLECTIONS FUNERAL HOME.

Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Mar. 4, 2012
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