Donald Warren DeJong, Ph.D., 83, of Youngsville passed away Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at Lenoir Memorial Hospital in Kinston 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, Calif., Oxford, 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.
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, Fla., 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, Wash., and his sister, Eunice Dejong Lanting of Grand Rapids, Mich. Donald and Arlene have 43 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service was held Nov. 14, 2013 at Providence Baptist Church