Owen J. Newlin

NewlinOwen J. Newlin, 92, on July 12, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. A birthright Friend, Owen was born on February 6, 1928, to J.J. and Ruth (Owen) Newlin in Des Moines. He was a member of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) and a 1945 graduate of Westtown School near West Chester, Pa.

Owen dedicated his life to his family and to helping farmers feed the world. While a student at Iowa State University, he met and married Doris Jean “D.J.” Coxon in 1952. He received a bachelor’s in agronomy and a master’s in crop production from Iowa State and a doctorate in plant genetics and breeding from the University of Minnesota. Owen joined Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., in 1955 and retired in 1993 as senior vice president.

Owen was active in many agricultural organizations, including the American Seed Trade Association, the U.S. Grains Council, the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Farm Foundation, and Future Farmers of America.

Owen served two six-year terms on the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, and was president for eight years. The Board of Regents is the nine-member governing body overseeing the three public universities in the state of Iowa: the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa. Owen served Iowa State University in various leadership roles, including as chair of multiple fundraising campaigns. He served on the Simpson College Board of Trustees in Indianola, Iowa, and was chair for eight years. Owen was a longtime Rotary Club member. While president of the club in 1987–1988, he led the effort to induct its first ten women members.

Owen is survived by his wife, D.J. Newlin; three children, Tamara Gregori (Ed), John Newlin (Patty Carton), and Christine Kovach (Rick); ten grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Emily Bay and Vesta Hansen; and a daughter, Janet Newlin. Memorial donations may be made to Des Moines Valley Meeting, 4211 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312.

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