The Wyoming Archaeological Society

Wyoming Association of Professional Archaeologists

Grant Hull Willson


Grant Hull Willson, 92, of Cheyenne died Oct. 6 at VA Medical Center in Cheyenne. 
Born June 29, 1920, in Greeley, Colo., he completed his B.A. at the University of Colorado, his postgraduate studies at Babson College, midshipmen school at Columbia University, and was a civilian pilot. A lieutenant in the Navy, he was in charge of an escort carrier in the Aleutian Islands during World War II.

In 1946, he moved to Cheyenne to operate Skateland, Cheyenne’s first roller skating rink. He later became the chief procurement officer at the Wyoming Highway Department.

He was one of the founding members of the Cheyenne chapter of the Wyoming
Archaeology Society and the longest serving editor of the Wyoming Archaeologist
magazine (1964-1976). In 1976, and again in 2006, he received the Golden Trowel Award and lifetime membership.

He also volunteered at the State Museum and the Travel Commission. Years ago, he donated the family collection of Indian artifacts to the University of Wyoming. Unusual with personal collections, he meticulously documented the site locations and particulars for each artifact.

At 89, he was the oldest student to receive advanced Buddhist dharma teachings from the abbott of the Dari Rulai Temple in Los Angeles. 
Mr. Willson is survived by three children, Warrack Grant Willson of Fairbanks, Alaska, Gale Norcross Willson and Cynthia Norcross Willson, both of Cheyenne; grandchildren, Leslie, Wes and Lisa Jo; and great-grandchildren, Celia, Sophia, Roan and Finn. The family owes special thanks to Laura Thomas who, with Gale, helped care for Dad at home until the last four days.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Jo Norcross Willson; son, James Norcross Willson; and his parents, Gordon Grant and Vera Willson. 
A dharma rite was performed on the ninth day at Wisdom Eye Dharma Center in Fort Collins, and another dharma rite will be conducted by the Dari Rulai Temple in Los Angeles. Grant’s ashes will be buried at 10 a.m. Nov. 17 in the family plot at Linn Grove Cemetery in Greeley. There will be an open house Nov. 17 and 18 from 2 to 8 p.m. to celebrate his life and share stories. Grant will be honored along with other veterans at the VA Chapel at 3 p.m. Nov. 30.