Harold Donald New 1931-2021

Harold Donald New was born November 15, 1931, in Dallas, Texas. When he was 13 years old, he met and eventually fell in love with Martha Lee Jean. They were married in a small Baptist church in May of 1950. The couple had three boys, Don, David and Doug. As planned, their family was completed two years apart by 1956. Don worked for Sears in the outdoor gear department in Arlington, Texas, for a few years. His sense of adventure and a desire to fly anything led him into the Army Reserve, where he learned to operate helicopters. After his stint in the army, Don was hired as a test pilot for Fairchild-Hiller in Palo Alto, California. Don was one of a handful of pilots experimenting with turbine-powered jet engines. In 1962, Don moved his young family, leaving Texas for sunny California, and for the next five years circled the Bay Area testing the FH-1100 prototype vying for a lucrative military contract. The Bell Jet Ranger, ironically based in Texas, ultimately garnered the deal and Don’s 1100 focused on production for the logging industry.

 A chance meeting with Del Smith, owner of Evergreen Helicopters headquartered in McMinnville, Oregon, lead to a job offer. For the next 15 years, Don served as vice president of marketing through Evergreen’s transition to Evergreen International Airlines, and his world travels began. The family at last felt Mac was their true home. In the early '80s, Don left Evergreen and formed Aero Planning International, won the Life Flight/Portland contract in a competitive bid against his former company and retired after 12 years (comfortably). 

 Don loved his community and it showed. He was there for anyone needing a loan, a car, a cribbage partner or just common sense advice. Over the years, Don considered the pastors and congregates of McMinnville First Baptist Church his other family. When the Gallery Players of Oregon, (which his wife Leah co-founded), needed some assistance to stay a viable community theater, Don quietly paid off the remainder of the mortgage on the building.

On February 2, 2021, Don New passed away peacefully with his three sons by his side. Don’s wife, Leah, passed away August 13, 2013. Don leaves behind grandchildren, great-grandchildren; and a lifetime of memories and wonderful adventures. He will thus be missed by many.

 A service will be held at 11 a.m. April 24, at Evergreen Memorial Park, 7961 North Hwy. 99 in McMinnville.

 

 

 

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