February 9, 2022

Obituary | Ian M. Newman

Ian Newman
Orville Friesen | File photo

Orville Friesen | File photo
Ian Newman

Ian M. Newman, 81, of Lincoln, emeritus professor of educational psychology, died Feb. 4.

Newman was born Jan. 12, 1941 in Wellington, New Zealand, to Stan and Grace (Wilton) Newman. He grew up in Palmerston North, attended Palmerston North Boys High School, where he was head prefect and captain of the rugby team.

He left home at age 18, accepting a scholarship to attend George Williams College in Chicago (now Aurora University). While in Chicago, he met Enid Hosein, originally of Trinidad and Tobago, at a church dance. They married in 1964.

Ian earned bachelors and master’s degrees from George Williams College and a doctorate at the University of Illinois. His post-doctoral studies took place at Harvard School of Public Health. Newman later joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee working at the Oakridge National Laboratory. Two years later, he joined the faculty at the University of Nebraska, where he taught and conducted research for more than 50 years.

Internationally recognized as a researcher in public health issues, Newman’s primary areas of focus included adolescent health, health education and public health. And, many of his graduate students remained friends through the years due to Newman’s caring, mentoring and interest in their backgrounds.

While at Nebraska, Newman took a two-year leave to join the World Health Organization and was stationed in New Delhi, India. He also served in Thailand, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In 1997, he was named the Wesley C. Meierhenry Distinguished Professor.

Newman was well known for his unquenchable desire for intellectual and cultural adventure. His personal and professional life took him to more than 83 countries and territories around the world. And, on his many adventures, Newman always made a point to learn local customs and understand people’s traditions. He also had a hearty appetite for local cuisine and delicacies.

Newman and his wife, Enid, were well known for their ballroom and folk dancing. Locally, they were members of the university’s Faculty Dance Club and the International Folk Dancers.

Family members include his wife of over 55 years, Enid; sons and daughter-in-law, Sean Newman, Brian (Johanna) Newman, Stuart Newman; grandchildren, Sophia, Ethan and Hannah; great-grandchildren, Brennan and Everet; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Cathrine.

A memorial service is 4 p.m. Feb. 12 at First-Plymouth Church, 2000 D St. The service will also be available live online. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to the Food Bank of Lincoln. Condolences can be left online with the family obituary.