Amherst Magazine

Obituary

Published in the:

Washington Post
September 8, 2011
By Matt Schudel
(online link)

Recent Amherst College policy prohibits the publication of obituaries on the Class Web Pages without the express consent of the Publication Source.   A copy of John's obituary is on file with the Class records.  You may contact the Publication Source or contact the class Secretary for a copy.

The following death notice was published in the:

New York Times
August 28, 2011

Washington Post
August 28, 2011

NEWMANN—John M, PhD, 70, died peacefully of natural causes in Oakland, CA on August 12, surrounded by his loving family.  Born July 11, 1941 in Highland Park, IL, the second son of Harold and Maxine Newmann. John will be remembered for his remarkable resilience, his ability to find humor in any situation, his staunch advocacy for patients with renal and oman failure, his ardent passion for Louis Armstrong and jazz, and his love and complete devotion to his adoring family and many lifelong friends.

John graduated cum laude with a BA in Religion from Amherst College in 1963, a PhD in Economics and International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, in 1974, and a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University in 1980 He worked for the Ford Foundation from 1961 to 1978 on economic development, living in Indonesia from 1967 till 1971 until he was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease and began hemodialysis at age 30.

Kidney failure transformed John’s and his family’s lives. In the early 1970s, he and his family were among the first to perform self-dialysis at home. John became a nationally recognized authority on hemodialysis, patient duality of life and organ donation, and an award winning consultant to the medical profession, patient and research organizations and government public policy panels.

He served on many national boards, including the National Kidney Foundation, the United Network for Organ Sharing, the American Kidney Fund and the American Association of Kidney Patients, of which he was president for four years.

He also served on various task forces for the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Few, if any, institutions concerned with kidney or organ failure did not benefit from John’s leadership and guidance.

John’s first wife, Mary Misch Newmann, preceded him in death by 19 days. They are survived by their daughters. Sara (Doug Sovern), of Berkeley, CA, and Emily (John Darrah), of Cambridge, MA, and their granddaughters Maxine and Sadie Newmann Darrah.

John is survived by his life partner for the last two decades, Judy Solomon Engelberg of Chevy Chase, MD, with whom he loved humor, travel, music, art and their close interconnected families.

John is also survived by his second wife, Lisa Aronson Newmann of Housatonic, MA, and by his loving brothers, Fred (Carolyn Hegeler) of Madison, WI and Bill (Rachel) of Olympia, WA.

The three brothers were known in the family for their zany antics and for always “sticking together”. When he was 11 years old, John met and played piano with Louis Armstrong in Chicago, beginning a cherished friendship that lasted until Armstrong’s death in 1971.

John’s devotion to Satchmo’s music continued until the last moments of his own life.  As Louis once said, “what we play is life” and what a wonderful life John had. “We’ll keep it rolling for you.”

A celebration of John’s life will be held October 29 at 3 pm at the Cambridge Friends Meeting House in Cambridge. MA Donations in John’s memory may be made to the “John Newmann Memorial Fund” at the American Association of Kidney Patients (www.aakp.org ) 800-749-2257 and the Louis Armstrong House Museum (louisarmstronghouse.org)  718-478-8274.


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