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Staff & Center News

Farewell to Our Dear Friend, Joe—A Tribute to Joe Newell


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Joe Newell
Joe Newell, 1953-2003
Joseph S. Newell III passed away on January 19, 2003, at the age of 49. The staff of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)'s Woods Hole Field Center join his wife, Barbara, and their children, Elizabeth and Christopher, in mourning the loss of Joe.

Joe Newell was with the USGS in Woods Hole, MA, for 22 years. During that time, he participated in countless cruises, and we depended on him for his knowledge of international and domestic shipping, his large-truck license, his rigging expertise, his role as ship contractor, and, most recently, his position in facilities management. Joe was a tremendous asset to the center, and he will be sorely missed by his colleagues, many of whom are honored to have called him a friend.

"Joe Newell was well known for his physical strength, but even greater was the strength of his character. He was a person of the utmost integrity, and the most honest man I ever knew. Peace upon him."
Robert Barton

"Joe and I had many common threads here at USGS. We both are 49 years of age. We started at the USGS 22 years ago. We arrived one behind the other at 6:30 a.m. to start our workday. We both had to start wearing reading glasses about the same time in order to be able to read the lock combination so we COULD get in to work! Our children are the same ages—both boy and girl. We coached our own children in many youth sports. We laughed at each other's stories concerning their first dates, their first cars, and their first traffic tickets! I know for a fact that Joe was a loving, caring, dedicated father and husband by all the conversations we shared throughout our many years as colleagues and simply by his actions. He loved his family dearly and was a dedicated USGS employee.

"When a job needed doing, Joe was always there with his myriad of talents to lend an expert hand. Welding, machining, heavy-equipment operation, and that little tidbit of information you just couldn't find anywhere else except from the man who had such a broad scope in his knowledge. I'll miss our early-morning stories over coffee and his "I can't believe my kid just did that" parallel humor we both shared as two fathers with not one, but two teenagers living under the same roof! I had the pleasure to work with his son Christopher at Pocasset Golf Course last year, and Joe can be proud that he and Barbara have raised a true gentleman. I consider it an honor to have worked beside both of these men.

"Joe will indeed be sorely missed here at MOF [Marine Operations Facility]. May he rest in peace and never have to pick up a welding torch or drive a crane in subzero weather again! That is, unless God really needs his expertise, in which case I'm sure Joe would never hesitate. Joe was everyone's consummate "Right-Hand Man" here at MOF. We'll miss you, big guy. Rest easy."

Dave Nichols
Unloading in Boston after 1995 cruise. Handling an airgun on the research vessel Eastward in 1981.
Left: Unloading in Boston after 1995 cruise on U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter White Heath.
Right: Handling an airgun on the research vessel Eastward in 1981. Photographer Dann Blackwood's first cruise with Joe. Greg Miller on right.
"Of the two recent field projects I participated in, exactly zero would have had a happy ending without Joe finding a way to ship supplies DAYS after the final "Don't Ship Anything After This Deadline Or It Will Never Make It" day. People here work hard, they have pride in their work, and as a result they can pull off miracles most any day of the week—but saving these field projects was accomplished by Joe single-handedly pulling off GIANT miracles, and doing so while we not only WEREN'T helping him but were instead piling more and more together later and later for him to ship. When it was over, he didn't beat us with sticks like he had every right to; he just asked what he could do for us when we showed up at his office door."
Bill Waite
"Joe,
What can I say?
I still cannot believe you are gone.
Joe was a caring, decent, straight shooting,
Big-hearted, talented, genuine, good guy.
A caring and loving father and husband.
Rock Solid, Steady, Dependable.
Always ready to help.
If you needed to build, fix, weld, machine, truck, ship gear, plan a cruise, or remember the particulars of a ship, deploy or move anything with heavy equipment,
Go see Joe.
Joe, I miss your laugh,
how you watched out for me,
our talks about our kids.
The world is a lesser place without you."
Dann Blackwood
Removing sediment trap on the research vessel Oceanus in 1984. Joe and Rick Rendigs
Left: Removing sediment trap on the research vessel Oceanus in 1984.
Right: Joe (left) and Rick Rendigs
"Joe's contributions to our achievements are not readily visible when one reads the papers and fact sheets, but his work and his spirit permeated it all. He was the cornerstone we could all depend on to help us hold our balance as we all reached out to further USGS science and engineering. He was here for us at home, and he was there for us in the field. When you were on the other coast and forgot an important part, who were you going to call? Joe Newell. When customs thought they should keep your shipment, who were you going to call? Joe Newell. I will miss his responsiveness in a crisis, his memory, strength, cleverness, and creativity."
Marinna Martini

Related Web Sites
Woods Hole Field Center
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Woods Hole, MA

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Research cover story:
Competitive Edge of Invasive Species

Lake Mead Work Continues

Outreach Dolphin Rescue

London Interns Tour St. Pete

Congressional Briefing on Gas Hydrates

Volcanic Ash and Aviation Safety

Science Mentoring

Meetings Coastal Vulnerability

Lidar Data and Technology

International Deep-Sea Corals Workshop

Northeastern Coastal Ecosystems and Resources Workshop

Awards Shinn Wins 2002 Shoemaker Distinguished Achievement Award

Coastal and Marine Scientists Win 2002 Shoemaker Product Excellence Awards

Behrendt and Poag Elected AAAS Fellows

Normark Awarded Keen Medal

Staff & Center News A Tribute to Joe Newell

Marine Geophysics Pioneer Honored

Celebrating Careers of Five Retirees

Manheim Lectures on Trends in Scientific and Technological Innovation

Publications San Francisco Bay Earthquake Hazards

Effectivenes of Marine Reserves in Central California

Human Influence on Diatom Productivity and Sedimentation in Chesapeake Bay

Feb. / Mar. Publications List


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