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Memorial Service for Dr. John D. Nalewaja Held in Loftsgard Hall

Dr. John D. Nalewaja died November 11 and was remembered at a service in Loftsgard Hall November 19. He worked in the Agronomy (later Plant Sciences) Department for 36 years and conducted significant research in weed science and mentored many graduate students during that time.
Memorial Service for Dr. John D. Nalewaja Held in Loftsgard Hall

Dr. John D. Nalewaja

An overflow crowd remembered Dr. John Nalewaja at a memorial service held on November 19 in Loftsgard Hall, the home of the Department of Plant Sciences at North Dakota State University. Nalewaja passed away November 11 in San Tan Valley, AZ. Those joining Nalewaja’s family at the service included his former colleagues, graduate students and friends.

Nalewaja was Professor Emeritus of Weed Science and Physiology in the Department of Plant Sciences. He began work at NDSU in 1962 and retired in 1998. He was significantly involved in the planning and building of Loftsgard Hall and will long be remembered as a noted leader in weed science research.

Obituary for John D. Nalewaja

Dr. John D. Nalewaja of Fargo, ND and Osakis, MN, 84, passed away peacefully on November 11, 2014 from prostate bone cancer in San Tan Valley, AZ.

John Dennis Nalewaja was born October 7, 1930 to Anthony and Hattie on a farm near Browerville, MN. After high school, he graduated in Vocational Agriculture from the University of Minnesota, served in the US Army, taught Ag education at Boyd, MN and obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in Agronomy from the University of Minnesota. He married Donna Lou Speer December 26, 1959. They moved to Fargo in 1962 and raised four children-Stephen, Susan, Gregory and Anne. Dr. Nalewaja taught classes and conducted research in Weed Science at North Dakota State University until retirement in September 1998.

Dr. Nalewaja was major advisor to 24 Ph.D. and 34 Masters of Science students, major supervisor for 30 visiting scientists from various countries (mainly Poland) and post doctorate research associates. He served as President and in other offices for various regional and national Weed Science Societies. He was chairman and editor for American Standard Testing Method Symposium on Pesticide Formulations and Applications Systems and was a member of the National Pesticide Impact Assessment Program.

Dr. Nalewaja discovered and developed methylated seed oil (MSO) as an adjuvant for herbicides now commonly used throughout the world.  Also, he determined the chemical basis of salt antagonism of certain herbicides (like Roundup) and how to overcome the antagonism of many herbicides that helped many weed scientists focus in this new area of surfactants and adjuvants.

He received several awards including an Honorary Doctorate from Poznan Agriculture University in Poland, the Fargo Moorhead Chamber of Commerce Distinguished NDSU Professor Award, Honorary Member North Central Weed Science Society, Fellow of the Weed Science Society of America for Outstanding Teacher and Outstanding Researcher.

After retirement in 1998, Dr. Nalewaja served as Emeritus Professor at NDSU, continued to review research papers and give presentations on weed control. He and his wife, Donna, enjoyed summers at their cottage on Lake Osakis and at the Nalewaja family farm near Browerville, MN, where he grew no-till soybeans and spent winters in Fargo, ND, and Arizona when not visiting children and grandchildren.  John was a talented carpenter.

John D. Nalewaja is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Paul, Benedict, Leo and Ignatius and sisters Catherine, Anna, Mathilda, Alvina and Philomene. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Donna, sister Hattie of Maryland, and children Dr. Stephen (Jill) of Miles City, MT, Susan Van Voorhis (Tom) of Champlin, MN, Gregory (Jennifer) of Charlotte, NC and Anne (Steve Ruebke) of Twin Valley, MN and ten grandchildren- Stephanie Franco (Dr. Domingo Franco), Theresa, Robert and Catherine Nalewaja of Miles City, MT, Anthony John and Derek Van Voorhis of Champlin, MN and Noah, Sidney, Landon and Caden of Charlotte, NC.

Funeral services set for Saturday November 22, 2014 are arranged through Iten Funeral Home of Browerville, MN (320-594-2242) with Interment at Christ the King Catholic Cemetery of Browerville, MN. Visitation will be at 10:30 AM followed by the funeral at noon and burial.

In lieu of flowers, John requested that memorial donations are preferred to the John D. Nalewaja Graduate Student in Weed Science Scholarship Fund at NDSU, Fargo, ND.

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