March 26, 1933 – Dec. 11, 2015
Donald F. Newman, of Clarence, chairman emeritus of NOCO Energy Corp., died Friday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, after a lengthy illness. He was 82.
After serving in the Army, in 1957, Mr. Newman joined R.B. Newman Fuel Corp. in the Town of Tonawanda, founded as a coal delivery company by his father in 1933. He was named president of the company in 1967 and, after serving as chairman of the board, became chairman emeritus in 1998. One of his sons, James, currently is president of the company. Another son, Michael, is executive vice president.
Together with his brother, Reginald II “Reg,” who began in 1959, they built NOCO into the largest independent supplier of petroleum products in Western New York and one of the largest family-owned companies in the region.
They opened the first of what now are 40 NOCO gas stations in the area in 1964. They acquired a new terminal facility on River Road, expanded their product lines and bought the home heating oil division of Ashland Oil Co. in 1982.
In 1992, Mr. Newman and his brother jointly received the Business Executive of the Year award from the Richard J. Wehle School of Business at Canisius College.
Born in North Tonawanda, he attended City of Tonawanda schools and was a graduate of Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, where he was a member of Army ROTC. He served for two years as an officer in the Army Ordnance Corps.
Active in numerous civic, cultural and charitable organizations, he was president of the Buffalo Club, the Country Club of Buffalo, Rotary Club of the Tonawandas, American Automobile Association Club of New York State and the AAA of Western New York.
He served on the Western Region board of HSBC USA and was a trustee of Nichols School. He served on the boards of the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site Foundation, Greater Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, Western New York Broadcasting Association, Buffalo State College Foundation and the Hauptman Woodward Medical Research Institute.
He headed the annual Great TV Auction on WNED-TV in 1988.
In 1992, he received the Sister Mary Mechtilde Memorial Award, Kenmore Mercy Hospital’s highest philanthropic honor, after leading a multimillion-dollar development campaign to renovate and expand the hospital.
He also was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International.
In addition to his brother, survivors include his wife of 58 years, the former Barbara Lutz; four sons, Robert L., Thomas B., James D. and Michael F.; a sister, Kathy Feld; and seven grandchildren.
A celebration of his life will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday in the Country Club of Buffalo, 250 N. Youngs Road, Amherst.