Jesse Newkirk, III
Jesse Benjamin Newkirk III, known as Ben, whose love of learning and teaching made him an accomplished professor and beloved mentor to friends and family, passed away in his home in La Mesa, California, on July 10, 2018.
Following a successful graduate career in Psychology at Claremont Graduate University, Ben served as Professor of Psychology at Grossmont Community College for thirty-three years, being selected as Distinguished Chair in Mathematics and Science in 1990. He was known for setting high standards as a professor while at the same time showing great patience and generosity as an advisor and friend to his students. He was actively involved in helping many students move on to four-year universities and graduate programs.
Having learned to build model train layouts and airplanes as a boy, Ben was a consistent presence in and organizer for the All Gauge Toy Train Association and First Weedwacker Aerosquadron model aeronautics club. He also served nine years as a San Diego PD Reserve Officer, where he consulted for the SDPD, and was an active competitive marksman, achieving Distinguished Master Rating in Police Pistol Combat.
Ben is survived by his loving wife, Pamela Newkirk (née Newton); their son, Jesse Newkirk IV of Brooklyn, NY; two daughters, Christine Newkirk of Pasadena, CA, and, from a previous marriage, Tanya Newkirk of Jackson, Miss.; and his sister, Fern Parker, and brother, Don Newkirk, both of Salem, OR.
Ben was born on February 19, 1947 in Ajo, Arizona, and raised in National City, California. His father, Jesse Benjamin Newkirk Jr., was born in Payette, Idaho, and his mother, Jessie Fern Kinkead, was born in Keyes, Oklahoma. The family traveled to the southwest to escape the Dust Bowl in the early 1930s.