Newell J. Trask, Jr. , 87, who retired in 1995 after 31 years as a geologist and hydrologist with the United States Geological Survey died Sept. 25, 2017, at Inova Fairfax Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.
Dr. Trask was born in Boston, MA, and educated in the public schools of Newton, MA. He earned degrees in geology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Colorado, and doctorate from Harvard University. He served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean conflict.
During much of his career with the USGS, Dr. Trask studied the geology of the moon and planets and was the author or co-author of over 30 maps and reports. He was a consultant to CBS television during the Apollo 11 first manned landing on the Moon in 1969 and a member of the Television Science Team on the 1974 flyby of the planets Venus and Mercury. Later in his career, Dr. Trask worked on the problems of high-level and low-level nuclear waste disposal and served on several interagency panels dealing with these issues.
In 1983, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Award of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Dr. Trask was active in the Unitarian Universalist Church. He was a founding member and first president of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun. He was also active in the Preservation Society of Loudoun County, Keep Loudoun Beautiful, and the Catoctin Creek Watershed Committee. Dr. Trask later joined the Congregational Christian Church in Winchester, VA.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Esther H. Trask of Purcellville, VA; his children Thomas W. Trask (Katherine) of Leesburg, VA; Ellen E. Carter of Purcellville, VA; Edward J. Trask (Kelly) of Richmond, VA; his grandchildren Christina Carter White (Logan); Emily L. Carter; Jeffrey W. Carter; Eleanor Trask; Loudon J. Trask; and his great grandchildren; Esmae Carter White; Zion L. White.
Services are private. Memorial contributions may be given to the Congregational Christian Church, 2908 Middle Road, Winchester, VA 22602.