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2020 News

Gettysburg Foundation Chair Emeritus Robert Kinsley Passes Away

June 11, 2020

The only Chairman Emeritus in the history of the Gettysburg Foundation, Robert "Bob" Kinsley, passed away at his home on June 10. He was founder and long-time CEO of Kinsley Construction of York, Pennsylvania.

Robert KinsleyRobert "Bob" Kinsley

Kinsley’s vision and perseverance led to construction of the award-winning, LEED-Gold certified Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center. He and his wife Anne generously contributed time and resources to build what has been called a "gift to America." The Museum & Visitor Center opened in 2008, and has hosted millions of people from around the world.

Gettysburg Foundation Board Member Emeritus, Barbara Sardella, remembers Kinsley as a leader, preservationist and educator.

"Bob was passionate about Gettysburg. He never let anything stop him from accomplishing his mission in Gettysburg, which was to assist the National Park Service in preserving the history of the battlefield and the priceless artifacts for generations to come," said Sardella. "He believed in the importance of public education for all, and he saw the development of the Museum & Visitor Center as a place to engage all Americans in a most important story. He was a visionary and a true servant leader."

The Kinsley family attended and contributed generously to last year's inaugural Gettysburg Gala.

The Gala featured the presentation of the inaugural Kinsley Award at Gettysburg, named in honor of Bob and Anne’s family and their years of service and support to the mission of Gettysburg Foundation. The award is presented to an individual or organization that exemplifies Abraham Lincoln’s vision of a humble, civil and inclusive society. Acclaimed stage and screen actor Stephen Lang received the award in 2019.

"Bob's contributions to the community have been immeasurable," said Turney McKnight, Gettysburg Foundation Board Member. "Throughout his life, he demonstrated the same positive and get-it-done attitude that we all witnessed at Gettysburg, combined with the wisdom and common sense to make it all work."

More recently, Bob and his wife, Anne, provided the funding to build the Kinsley Leadership Center at the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital, officially dedicated in opening ceremonies in October 2019. The Center is the new home of the Gettysburg Foundation's long-running, popular leadership program, In the Footsteps of Leaders®.

Beyond the buildings, Kinsley's personality and dedication left a lasting impact on Foundation board members, volunteers and staff.

"Bob is the person who brought me to Gettysburg, and all on a handshake deal, as was his inimitable way," said outgoing president/CEO of the Gettysburg Foundation, Dr. Matthew Moen. "The Gettysburg Foundation will surely miss his blend of generosity and humility, resolve and compassion. And, I'll miss the guy with the smile and sense of purpose. I told Bob last year that he had become something of a father-figure to me, and that was the highest compliment I could pay him given how I remember my own dad."

A private service will be held later this summer. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations may be sent to the Gettysburg Foundation or York College of Pennsylvania.

Bob Kinsley obituary on