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John Robert NEWBROUGH Obituary

NEWBROUGH, John Robert "Bob" PhDProfessor Emeritus at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, collapsed suddenly at a family gathering in Boulder, CO, and died on New Year's Day surrounded by his wife Lynn, her family, and his daughters Jennifer, Suzanne, and Andrea. He died as he lived - fast and well. Bob was born May 30, 1934, to John W. and Margaret Newbrough of Wendell, ID. From his father, a farmer, he learned to appreciate the land and the importance of community in working together to bring in the harvest. From his mother, a teacher, he learned to love books and the exchange of ideas. He attended a two-room school through 8th grade and graduated valedictorian from high school at age 16. He earned his BA, magna cum laude, from the College of Idaho and his PhD in psychology from the University of Utah. He spent summers as a smokejumper, parachuting out of airplanes to fight forest fires in the Sawtooth Mountains. At age 25, Bob began a Fellowship in Lindemann and Caplan's historic program in Community Mental Health at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He then joined the Public Health Service and worked at the National Institute of Mental Health. In DC, Bob cultivated his passion for sports cars, serving as editor of the Porsche Club Newsletter and competing in car rallies. In 1966, Bob was recruited by Dr. Nicholas Hobbs to join the faculty in Psychology at Peabody College and establish the Center for Community Studies. Bob was one of the founders of the new field of Community Psychology and edited the Journal of Community Psychology for many years. A key figure internationally, Bob collaborated with colleagues in Latin America, Australia, and Europe and established an exchange program between Peabody and a university in Guadalajara. He earned the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research and Theory from the Society for Community Research and Action. He was a long-time board member of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving and valued advisor to Mrs. Carter. He was a treasured mentor to numerous students and colleagues who recall his wise counsel, generous support, and talent for bringing forth the strengths and gifts of others. Although Bob retired in 2002, he remained active at Peabody, advising doctoral students, and in the community, where he recently began organizing a local initiative to promote civil discourse across the political spectrum. Bob is survived by his wife of 30 years Lynn Walker, daughters Jennifer Speer (Keith) and Suzanne Diaz (Juan) of Nashville and Andrea Simmons (Bryan) of Crossville, their mother Loneta Behrens; eleven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren; his sister, Mary Ann Dodson (Jack); and uncle, Walter Mrachek of Emmett, ID; cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends around the world. The family appreciates the professionals who helped Bob stay active while living with Parkinson's Disease for more than 20 years: Michael Cooper, Peter Konrad, Ralf Habermann, Robert Sewell, Lihua Sheng, Barbee Majors, Barb Batson, Rebecca Saindon, and Debbie Ashton. Gratitude also to Robert Dorris and Beth Gwinn who assisted Bob at home and to the numerous strangers who came to his aid as he navigated his walker with determination up stairs, across streets, and amongst crowds at community events. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The JR Newbrough Memorial Fund, established by the Society for Community Research and Action, 4440 PGA Blvd #600, Palm Beach Gardens FL 33410 or at: (where tributes also may be found). A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 26, 2 p.m. at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville, 1808 Woodmont Blvd.
Published in The Tennessean on Jan. 20, 2013
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