It is with a heavy heart that we have learned of the passing of Rhoda Gilman earlier this week at the age of 91. Rhoda was quite simply the Grandmother of the Green Party of Minnesota and was an important Minnesota historian and committed radical political activist to the end.
Born in Seattle, Washington, in 1927, Rhoda came to Minnesota in 1952. She became a researcher at the Minnesota Historical Society in 1958 and held positions there in the publications, education, and research divisions. Among the projects she accomplished was a textbook of Minnesota history for schools statewide, which was separately published as "The Story of Minne-sota's Past".
After retirement in 1992, Rhoda began a career as a political activist. She was a founding member of the Minnesota Green Party and ran for lieutenant governor on the Green ticket in 2002.
She also edited and wrote about Minnesota's radical political tradition, including the Minnesota Book Award nominee "Ringing in the Wilderness" (1996). In 2008 she received the Vincent L. Hawkinson Foundation award for her work on peace and social justice.
Rhoda exemplified the “protest tradition” in Minnesota that she wrote about in her final published book, “Stand Up!” In addition to synthesizing those important social and political movements in her writing, she participated in those same movements her entire life (as all great radical historians do).
Rhoda served on the boards of the Institute for Minnesota Archaeology and the Minnesota Archaeological Society. She was also a founding member of Women Historians of the Midwest and the Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum.
Rhoda will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by the many people she touched with her kindness and for the extrodinary contributions she made towards a better Minnesota and a better world. Rest in power Rhoda.