Remembering Edna Newnan, a Valuable MNA Leader

Edna Newnan was more than a volunteer at MNA. She was an essential force.

During her work with the organization, which began in the 1960s, Edna served as President, board member and co-editor of “In Retrospect,” a book that covers the early history of MNA. Published in 1988, the book is a constant reminder of Edna’s love for nature and her efforts that always went above-and-beyond. Her work helped MNA better protect Michigan’s special natural areas, and resonates the importance of protection and stewardship throughout Michigan.

MNA Executive Director Jeremy Emmi remembers Edna as incredibly good-natured, intelligent and inquisitive.

“She was always reading and learning more,” Jeremy says. “She had such a complete and total love for the outdoors.”

And even when her term as a board member and President came to an end, Edna remained active in MNA’s Mission, working particularly hard on a statewide land protection campaign that ran from 2004 through 2007.

Edna earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oakland University in 1967 and a Master’s of Arts from the University of Michigan in 1974. She also undertook ministerial studies and Marygrove College. As a naturalist, Edna studied under Walter Nichols of the Cranbrook Institute of Science.

Her compassion for conservation led her to become involved in environmental causes and apply that knowledge to her work at MNA. Edna also enjoyed traveling, dog breeding, bird watching and yoga.

Edna will be remembered by many for her loyalty, selfless leadership and concern for others. MNA will always remember her for her dedication and generous service to the natural world.

Remembering Fred Case

Frederick W. Case, Jr., an outstanding teacher and horticulturist, was as a man of many accomplishments with a passion for nature. As the author of Trilliums and Orchids of the Western Great Lakes Region, Fred’s work is a legacy at MNA. His botanical research helped find a home for almost all of the known Michigan native species of orchids and trilliums.

An MNA member since at least 1984, Fred placed third on the Honors List for individuals sharing the knowledge of their finds and secret places. His selections were listed as acquisitions in the seventh edition of the MNA Nature Sanctuary Guidebook published in 1994.

Known for sharing his adventures and knowledge with others, Fred and his wife Roberta co-authored many magazine articles about plants and gardening. He taught biology and natural science at Arthur Hill High in Saginaw until his retirement. During his time at Arthur Hill, he was named Honor Alumnus in 1978, Outstanding Biology Teacher in Michigan in 1971 and Outstanding Science Teacher in 1987.

Despite his outstanding accomplishments and awards, Fred maintained a friendliness that others admired.

“He was never impressed by titles,” MNA Trustee Stan Kuchta said. “We will all miss his acquaintance.”

Fred passed away in January at the age of 83. His knowledge and presence will be deeply missed by MNA.