IN MEMORIAM: Ed Newsham, 85; SUNY Professor, Masonic Leader


Ed Newsham, 85, Oneonta;

SUNY Professor, Masonic Leader

ONEONTA – Edward S. Newsham, 85, who had a distinguished career with the Masonic Fraternity, passed away Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital.

Ed was born September 13, 1934, in Erie, PA, the son of the late Frederick and Susan (Harriger) Newsham. He married June Mellor September 7, 1957 in Woods Hole, MA. Ed and June moved to Oneonta in 1965 when Ed accepted a position as Professor at SUNY Oneonta teaching Chemistry where he enriched and touched the lives of many students over the years until his retirement in 1997. Ed was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Oneonta where he served on various boards and committees.

Ed had a long and distinguished career in the Masonic Fraternity. He became a Free and Accepted Mason in Oneonta Lodge #466 in 1968. He served the Lodge as Master in 1977 and was appointed District Deputy of the Otsego Schoharie District in 1992. He also was a member and served as the presiding officer in the following Masonic Concordant Bodies: Oneonta Chapter #277 Royal Arch Masons, Oneonta Council #87 Cryptic Masons, Otsego Commandery #76, United York Rite College #127 in Utica ,NY, Utica Conclave Red Cross of Constantine, Crusade Priory #57 Knights of the York Cross of Honor, Trinity Tabernacle XXIV Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, Glencarin Council #14 Knight Masons, and Charles Smith Council #324 Allied Masonic Degrees.

He also was a member of the Marine Lodge in Falmouth, MA and the Martha Chapter #116 Order of the Eastern Star where he served as Patron a number of times and twice as District Grand Lecturer. He was elected Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter State of New York Royal Arch Masons in 1998. He received the order of the Purple Cross (33 Degree in York Rite Masonry) and served as Grand Governor of the State of New York for the York Rite Sovereign College of North America. He was Director Emeritus of the Masonic Medical Research Institute in Utica, New York.

In his retirement years he and June served on the Auxiliary Board at A.O, Fox Hospital. In his spare time, Ed enjoyed playing bridge and doing needle point art. He participated in the General Clinton Canoe Regatta, enjoyed scuba diving, and loved his cats. Ed was always willing to volunteer or help someone out in need.

He is survived by his loving wife June of Oneonta. His children Mark (Sharon) Newsham, Traverse City, MI, Janet (Robert) Blatchley, Baltimore, MD, and Kathy (Aden) Reese, Woods Hole, MA; 6 loving grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren as well as 2 nephews and 1 niece.

A service to celebrate Ed’s Life will be held at a later date. Contributions may be made in his name to A.O. Fox Hospital, First Presbyterian Church of Oneonta or the Masonic Medical Research Institute in Utica, New York.

To light a candle or send an online condolence, visit

Arrangements are by the Bookhout Funeral Home, Oneonta.

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