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Coleman Donaldson

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NEWPORT NEWS - Coleman duPont Donaldson died peacefully on Friday, Aug. 7, 2009, at his home in The Chesapeake, Newport News, Va., surrounded by family.
Dr. Donaldson was born Sept. 22, 1922, in Philadelphia to John Wilcox and Renee duPont Donaldson. He was married to Barbara Goldsmith on Jan. 17, 1945, in New York.
He is survived by this extraordinary woman and their children, daughter, Beirne Donaldson and her husband, Haywood Huntley; sons, Coleman Donaldson Jr. and his wife, Patricia, Evan Donaldson and his wife, Beth, Alexander Donaldson and his wife, Georgia, William Donaldson and his wife, Patricia; and eight grandchildren, Margo Rusmisel, Coleman Donaldson III, Perrin Donaldson, Emily Donaldson, Julia Donaldson, Caroline Donaldson, Turner Donaldson and Katherine Donaldson.
Dr. Donaldson achieved distinction in three fields of endeavor – government service, academia and business - through his life-long work and leading edge research in the areas of aero and fluid dynamics, supersonic diffusers, turbulent transport phenomena, viscous vortex motion and terminal ballistics. This work culminated in Dr. Donaldson being the recipient of the Dryden Research Lecture Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1971 and the Meritorious Public Service Award from the Chief of Naval Research in 1990. His government service career included working at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), Langley Field, VA from1943-1945, serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps 1945-1946 during which time he was assigned to Bell Aircraft to work on the development of the X-1 and X-2 jet aircraft, Wright Field, Ohio and as Head of the Aerophysics Section of the Gas Dynamics Laboratory at NACA from 1946-1952.
In addition, Dr. Donaldson was a member of the NACA Special Subcommittee on Aircraft Noise under Gen. James Doolittle from1950-1952; a member of the President's Air Quality Advisory Board, 1973-1974; a member of the NASA Research and Technology Advisory Committee, 1970-1976; a member of the Naval Research Advisory Committee, 1972-1977 and 1986-1988; Chairman of the Laboratory Advisory Board for Air Warfare 1972-1977; a member of the NASA Special Panel on Hypersonic Technology, 1986-1989; a member of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) Submarine Technology Advisory Panel 1989-1994 and a member of the Advisory Committee NASA/Stanford Center for Turbulence Research, 1993-1996.
During an outstanding academic career Dr. Donaldson received his B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1942, his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1954 and 1957 respectively, all in Aeronautical Engineering. He continued in academia as the Robert H. Goddard Visiting Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University from 1970-1971, as a member of the Advisory Council, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences, Princeton University 1973-78 (Chairman 1975-1978), the General Editor of the Princeton University 12 volume series on High-Speed Aerodynamics and Jet Propulsion and as a member of the Industrial Professional Advisory Council, College of Engineering at Pennsylvania State University from 1970-1977.
Much of Dr. Donaldson's government service was performed during his business career. He was Founder and President of Aeronautical Research Associates of Princeton, Inc. from 1954-1986 and served as its Chairman from 1979-1986 until the company was sold to Titan Corporation.
Dr. Donaldson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering; the American Physical Society and Sigma Xi and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Explorer's Club.
In his spare time Coleman found time to garden, play the guitar and the piano, build reproductions of and repair antique furniture and support various historic and preservation efforts and organizations.
The family wishes to express sincere appreciation to the wonderful staffs of The Chesapeake, Visiting Angels and Odyssey Health Care for their devoted care during the Hospice period.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11, at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Newport News, Va. A reception will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation, P.O. Box 3630, Wilmington, DE, 19807-0630 or St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 45 Main Street, Newport News, VA 23601. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.

Published in Daily Press from Aug. 8 to Aug. 11, 2009
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