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Donald W. DeJong Ph.D.

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Donald Warren DeJong, PhD.


Donald Warren DeJong, Ph.D., 83, of Youngsville passed away on Saturday, November 9, 2013, at Lenoir Memorial Hospital in Kinston, NC surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Doon,Iowa, one of four children born to the late Rev. John and Margaret DeJong.

After earning a double Bachelor's degree in Biology and History from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI in 1951, Donald served as a High School teacher in Guam and on Truk Island from 1955 through 1959. He earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Georgia in 1965 and worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a plant physiologist and research chemist at labs in Berkley, CA, Oxford, NC, and Beltsville, MD. During his career, he also worked for International Harvester in Chicago, IL. Donald retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1991.

Donald, a Fulbright Scholar, lectured at conferences in the U.S.A. and abroad which fulfilled lifelong passions for traveling, studying history, and experiencing other cultures. Upon his retirement he was invited by colleagues to create a new research lab at the University of Izmir, in Turkey, where he and his wife lived for 18 months in 1992-1993.

As a scientist, Donald had a great interest in learning about God's creation and growing things. On their farm in Youngsville, he and his family planted a vineyard, orchards, and gardens, and he served on the N.C. Wine and Grape Growers Council, and the N.C. Beekeepers Association.

Donald was a lifetime follower of Jesus Christ, a man of strong faith, and most recently was attending Faith Baptist Church in Youngsville. He is survived by his wife, Arlene Westra DeJong, his son, Glenn DeJong of Merritt Island, FL, and his daughters, Cheryl Garner of Wake Forest, Laurie Gartland and Donna Murphy of Raleigh, Karen Kozel of LaGrange, his brother, John DeJong of Wenatchee, WA, and his sister, Eunice Dejong Lanting of Grand Rapids, MI. Donald and Arlene have 43 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service honoring his life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, November 14, 2013 at Providence Baptist Church, 6339 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh with Rev. David Horner officiating. A reception will be held immediately following the service in the Prisms Hall at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Creation Research Museum, 2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd., Petersburg, KY, 41080, 888-582-4253.
Published in The News & Observer on Nov. 13, 2013
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