In Memoriam: Albert T. “Al” Klyberg, 1940-2017


Today, it is with great sadness that I share with you the news of the passing of a Rhode Island giant, Albert T. “Al” Klyberg.

For nearly three decades, Al steered the Rhode Island Historical Society. Under his leadership, we grew to include the RIHS Robinson Research Center, the Aldrich House, and his treasure, the Museum of Work & Culture. We would not be who we are without Al’s vision and determination. And once he left the helm of the RIHS, his passion for Rhode Island’s extraordinary history only increased.

There are people in this world who change the way we think about a place. Al Klyberg was one of those people. He came to Rhode Island with a passion for history, and not just any history, but the history of every single person. And he committed his life to sharing that history with everyone.

He had a beautiful vision of the role that history should play in our lives, and I am honored to have known and worked with him. He continued to shape the RIHS every day, and I – we all – are grateful.

Thank you, Al, for your service, your passion, and your dedication. You made history, and you are forever part of us. You are missed so very much already.

C. Morgan Grefe’s statement on former RIHS Executive Director Al Klyberg, who has died at 76. All of us here offer our deepest condolences to Al’s family and friends. In the coming days, we will share more about his life and times, as well as provide memorial service information when and if it becomes available to the public.

Update, January 10, 2:35pm: The Providence Journal’s report

Update, January 10, 2:45pm: The Valley Breeze’s report

Update, January 10, 5:05pm: Rhode Island Public Radio’s report 

Update, January 11, noon: “Toward a Rhode Island History,” by Albert T. “Al” Klyberg; February of 1975, Rhode Island History journal


Update, January 11, 12:05pm: Al Klyberg’s Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame profile

Update, January 11: 1:50pm: The Klyberg family has announced arrangements.

From Kim Klyberg:

“We really appreciate all of the kind words. Just to let people know, we have made arrangements. The celebration will be on Sun, Jan 15 from 5 pm-8 pm at the Museum of Work and Culture (42 S. Main St., Woonsocket). The funeral and scattering of ashes will be Mon, Jan 16 starting at 10:30 am at Calvin Presbyterian Church (126 Angell Rd., Cumberland). In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite historical society/assn or the Calvin Presbyterian Church.”

Update, January 11, 4:15pm: Al Klyberg’s Life Legacy at Bellows Funeral Chapel

Update, January 12, 9:40am: “Rhode Island and the American Nation,” by Albert T. “Al” Klyberg; August of 1987, Rhode Island History journal


Update, January 13, 4:35pm: “Burrillville: A Town on the Blackstone?” by Albert T. “Al” Klyberg; August of 1994, Rhode Island History journal


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