Wakeman, End on Cal Poly’s 1953 Undefeated, Untied Team, Passes at 84

Wakeman, End on Cal Poly’s 1953 Undefeated, Untied Team, Passes at 84

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Newton Leroy (Newt) Wakeman, an end on Cal Poly's only undefeated, untied football team since the university became a four-year school in 1941, passed away Dec. 19 at his home in Lodi.

Wakeman was 84.

Born in Long Beach, Calif., on May 9, 1932, Wakeman was raised in the Cayucos and Cambria areas, graduating from Coast Union High School in 1950.

He attended Cal Poly on a football scholarship, graduating in 1955. Wakeman played on Cal Poly's 1953 undefeated, untied team as an end on offense and defense, earning second-team All-Southern California Small Colleges and honorable mention All-California Collegiate Athletic Association praise.

Wakeman caught two passes for 22 yards during his senior season in 1953, including an 11-yard reception for a touchdown against Pepperdine. Among his teammates were such Cal Poly greats as halfbacks Alex Bravo and Perry Jeter, quarterback Bob Neal, fullback Bud Chadwick, center Stan Sheriff and guard Vic Buccola, all members of Cal Poly's Athletics Hall of Fame.

The 1953 team finished 9-0, outscored its opponents 395-65, scored at least 30 points in eight of its nine names and was one of just seven teams with perfect 9-0 or 10-0 regular season records in all of Division I that year. Division II was not established until the mid-1960s.

Among his other activities while on campus, Wakeman was a member of Block P, Cal Poly's letterman's club, and the Blue Key service organization. He also sold advertising for the football game program.

After graduating from Cal Poly, Wakeman served active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1955-59, retiring in 1992 as Lieutenant Colonel. He moved with his young family to Sacramento in 1959 and began to work at Crocker Bank. In 1962 he moved to Lodi and took a position at Farmers and Merchants Bank, where he worked for 31 years, retiring in 1991 as Senior Vice President.

Wakeman was an active member at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Lodi, serving in many capacities over the years. He was an avid golfer and an active member at Woodbridge Golf and Country Club, serving on the board as member and president. He enjoyed God's creation during his times at his condo in Lake Tahoe for 16 years.

Wakeman is survived by his wife of 61 years, Janice Wakeman; his son Eric Wakeman and wife Betsy Wakeman; son Chris Wakeman; daughter Cindy McAlexander and husband Mike McAlexander; daughter Jenny Rogers and husband Andrew Rogers; eleven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and close friends.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Dec. 29, at 3:30 p.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church. Memorial donations may be made to St. Peter Lutheran Church and School, 2400 Oxford Way, Lodi, Calif., 95242 or Hospice of San Joaquin County, 3888 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, Calif., 95204.