Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

February 10, 2013

Harold Don Newson

TRAVERSE CITY — Harold Don Newson, 88, of Traverse City, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, with members of his loving family at his side. Don was born July 11, 1924, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Frederick and Alfrie (Sadler) Newson.

In 1942 he graduated from high school and enrolled at the University of Utah. After two years of study he was drafted in the army, where he remained until his discharge in 1946. He then resumed his college studies, and earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees from the University of Utah and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

During the Korean War he was recalled to active duty and chose to remain in the army where he could continue his career as a medical entomologist. During his military career he did research at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C., Japan and Germany, and served in U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, then ended his military service as medical entomologist consultant in the Office of Surgeon General. He attained the rank of colonel in 1966 and was awarded the Legion of Merit upon his retirement in June 1970. His army duty took him to many countries: Malaya, North Borneo (now part of Indonesia), Thailand, Korea, Vietnam and Panama.

In July 1970 Don started his second career at Michigan State University as a professor in the entomology department. He spent 19 enjoyable years teaching, guiding his graduate students and continuing research. He improved the quality of life for many by helping to prevent parasitic and mosquito borne diseases; he was a consultant to the Saginaw-Bay Mosquito Control Commission and participated in a large multi-departmental field study in Sudan funded by National Institute of Health.

Don was a member of numerous professional organizations and committees, often serving as chairman or board member. He also edited professional publications and authored many scientific papers. He was a member of the academic honorary societies Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Xi.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Fred.

Don is survived by his wife of 64 years, Beverly; his children, Jeffery (Mallory), Scott (Susan), Paul (Nancy) and Terry; and grandsons, Ryan and Peter.

Don was a very unassuming and modest man with a great sense of humor, an officer and a true gentleman always. He will be greatly missed.

A celebration of Don's life will take place in July.

The family would like to express their appreciation for his caregivers as his life was ending.

Memorial contributions may be donated to Munson Hospice or the charity of one's choice.

Please sign Don's online guestbook at

The family is being served by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.

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