Lawrence Edward Aten, 79, archeologist and innovative leader of archeology and historic preservation programs at the National Park Service passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on June 11, 2019 due to complications from Parkinson's. He is survived by Carol his beloved wife of 33 years; daughter Jennifer (George) Wright of Virginia, son Elliott Aten (Carla Falconi) of Virginia, stepson James (Melissa) Bickley of Maryland; four grandchildren: Collin, Lorenzo, Luca, and Giannina Aten, sister Carol Brown of Arkansas, and brother Robert (Debbie) Aten of Florida. He was previously married to Aura, mother of Jennifer and Elliott.
Born in Jamesburg, NJ, his family moved to DeLand, FL when he was 12 where a teenage job sparked his interest in archeology. After high school, he spent three years in the Army serving in Korea and Japan as a petroleum technician. This led to an interest in petroleum geology and a BS degree in geology from the University of Houston. Recognizing his first love was archeology, he received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin and moved to Washington, D.C. where he joined the National Park Service. He took early retirement in 1994 after 22 years to pursue archeology - doing research, writing, and consulting projects focusing on the prehistory of the Florida and Texas coasts. He authored Indians of the Upper Texas Coast and was working on a biography of Clarence Moore, an important early Southeastern archeologist, that will be published posthumously.
Friends are invited to join in remembrance at the family home on Sunday, June 23, from 2 to 5 p.m. Donations may be made to the Lawrence E. Aten Memorial Fund by check payable to UF Foundation and mailed to UF Florida Museum of Natural History, PO Box 112710, Gainesville FL 32611 or by credit card at The Fund, established by him, will be used for archeology and related education.

Published in The Washington Post from June 16 to June 20, 2019