Robert L. Newton
Funeral Date: 8/10/2013

Obituary:
Robert Lee “Bob” Newton, Jr., 83, of Warren, Arkansas died Saturday, August 3, 2013, at Bradley County Medical Center. Newton was a leader in the Arkansas weekly newspaper business most of his life. He was born September 25, 1929 in Little Rock, Arkansas the only child of the late Robert Lee Newton and Lois Bell Hunter Newton. He was a 1947 graduate of Warren High School and a member of the Hendrix College Class of 1951 where he received a bachelor’s degree in history and political science. Newton served as President of the Hendrix Class of 1951 during his junior and senior years and later served on the Hendrix College alumni board. After graduation from Hendrix, he worked briefly at the Bradley Lumber Company of Arkansas in Warren then accepted a position as news editor of the Osceola (Arkansas) Times. Though he had little formal journalistic training, at Osceola Newton came under the influence of the late Sam M. Hodges, one of Arkansas’ most successful newspapermen. In February, 1953, Newton was engaged by W.L. Love, Oscar Littlefield and James R. Moseley, then publishers of The Eagle Democrat, to serve as assistant editor of Warren’s weekly newspaper. He became editor in 1957, purchased stock in the business the same year, and in 1960 purchased a one-third interest in the business, later becoming sole owner. Newton also started a popular mid-week shopper publication reaching some 15,000 homes in Southeast Arkansas each week. He had wide business success with a “football pick-em” contest held each week during football season, prize-winning football editions of The Eagle Democrat, and the widely popular holiday section “Miss Merry Christmas.” During his tenure as editor/publisher of the newspaper, The Eagle Democrat’s circulation more than doubled and the business made a transformation from “hot type” letterpress to offset and full color printing, making it one of Arkansas’ strongest in circulation and widely read weekly newspapers. Newton authored many articles for the Arkansas Gazette over the years and once contributed to a popular column “Arkansas Angle.” A story he wrote in the 1960s caused veteran CBS correspondent Charles Kuralt to film several segments of his “On The Road With Charles Kuralt,” in Bradley County at Banks featuring Eddie Lovett and the Phoenix Library. In 1991 Newton compiled and assisted in the publication of “A Pictorial History of Bradley County, Arkansas.” In 1993 he published a second book, “Bradley County, Arkansas Family Histories.” Newton also researched and published a book on the history of the Warren YMCA. A former vice president and board member of the Arkansas Press Association, in 1998 he was honored with the Golden 50 Service Award by that organization. The tribute marked his years in journalism, from the Hendrix College Troubadour to The Eagle Democrat. Newton was known throughout surrounding counties for his columns “The Editor’s Notebook” and later “The Oldtimer’s Notebook.” Each fall he also wrote a weekly column entitled “Drugstore Quarterback” which featured football on the local and college level. He was a frequent contributor to Dave Campbell’s “Arkansas Football” magazine each fall, highlighting the Warren Lumberjacks and their conference foes. He was a voting member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame for more than 20 years. Newton was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church of Warren where he served as Elder and Clerk of the Church Session. He also served as a part time lay preacher to Presbyterian Churches in Drew, Lincoln, Desha and Chicot counties and was a past member of the Child Care Board of the Synod of Arkansas. Active in local civic organizations, he served as general chairman of the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival and was emcee for 50 Pink Tomato Luncheons. Newton joined the Warren Rotary Club in 1957, served as president of the organization and maintained a perfect attendance record for 50 years. He was named a Paul Harris Fellow in January 1990. He was a past member of the Bradley County Quorum Court, the Warren City Council, and was a charter member of the Warren Country Club and the Capital Club in Little Rock. He was a past director of the Bradley County Library, and served on the boards of the Warren YMCA, Bradley County Chamber of Commerce and the South Arkansas Fair and Marketing Association. Newton was inducted in the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival Hall of Fame in 2010 for his years of service to the chamber and the annual event. Newton was a 16-year member and former chairman of the Arkansas State Board of Education. He was appointed to his first term in 1975 by then Gov. David Pryor and served until 1991 under two consecutive appointments by then Gov. Bill Clinton. He was a lover of good literature and classical music, particularly grand opera. He traveled to Memphis regularly in the 1970s to attend performances of the touring company of the New York Metropolitan Opera, and he maintained an extensive collection of classical and operatic music in his vast home library. In addition to his love of the arts, Newton was also an avid supporter of the Warren Lumberjacks and Arkansas Razorbacks, and maintained box seats at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs. In 2005 he was named to the Lumberjack Hall of Fame. From 2004-2008 Oaklawn Park designated a feature race as the “Drug Store Quarterback Stakes,” in his honor. The race was featured on the Racing Festival of the South docket annually. The first winner of the “Drug Store Quarterback Stakes,” on April 3, 2004, was an aptly name horse – Buffalo Bob. Surviving is his wife of 33 years, Patricia Thornhill Sievers Newton; 4 daughters Lisa Sievers Llewellyn and spouse Michael, O’Fallon, MO, Attorney Patricia Sievers Harris and spouse Jim, Little Rock, Hope Newton Cain and spouse Erwin, Como, TX, and Caroline Newton Johnson and spouse Baker, Crossett, AR; 11 Grandchildren Brooke Llewellyn, Nashville, TN, Carter Llewellyn and Blake Llewellyn, O’Fallon, MO; Scott Harris, Little Rock; Hunter Cain, Dallas, TX, Averi Cain and Honour Cain, Como, TX; Matt Johnson and spouse Kara, Shelby Johnson all of Hamburg, AR, Chris Selby and Mackenzie Selby all Crossett, AR; 2 Great-grandchildren are Khloe and Bryson Johnson, Hamburg, AR. He was preceded in death in 1979 by his first wife Jonalee Piper Newton. A celebration of the life of Robert Lee Newton, Jr. was held at the First Presbyterian Church in Warren on Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. by Rev Dr. Dari Rowen and Rev. Phillip Faris. The eulogists were Maylon Rice and Hunter Johnson. Hunt Neely was the organist. Memorials are preferred to Hospice Home Care of Arkansas, 3955 Central Avenue, Suite 6, Hot Springs, AR 71913; First Presbyterian Church, 212 East Church Street, Warren, AR 71671; or the Donald W. Reynolds Warren YMCA, 207 North Main Street, Warren, AR 71671.

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Guestbook

Name: Randy & Beth Peek
Message: Bob will always be part of all of us here in Warren. His love shined thru and his wit was keen! God blessed us all with him these years and great memories to share. Prayers for all family, especially Pat who's love was his strength and joy- and his girls and family he adored. A friend to many- he was loved!

Name: Tammy Hensley
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Name: teresa Hays
Message: so sorry for your loss

Name: Col. David Brooks
Message: Bob was a special friend of the WHS Class of 1956. We will miss him dearly.

Name: Lea Ann Forrest
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Name: Joyce and Jerry D Smith
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Name: mark and kristy spencer
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Name: Ricky Green
Message: Keeping you all in my thoughts, prayers, and heart.

Name: Kaylon Taylor
Message: My prayers are with you.

Name: Sandra & Tommy Toole
Message: Sympathy for the family. He will be remembered as one of Warrens own.

Name: Larry Stuart
Message: Dear family and friends: We are told by Christ himself that there is no greater love than laying down one's life for friends. Bob's life was undoubtedly one of service as well as a profound love for his family. Certainly he deserves to hear "well done, thy good and faithful servant." Our prayers and sympathy at this time.

Name: RHONDA SIMMONS
Message: MS PAT, SO SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT MR NEWTON. HE WAS ALWAYS SO FRIENDLY. HE WILL BE MISSED. MAY GOD COMFORT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME. YOU ARE IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.

Name: Jane & Tracy Duke
Message: You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Name: Gary and Melissa Maskell
Message: Pat and family, we love you! We will truly miss Bob, but we know that one day we will all be reunited in glory! Our love and prayers go with you and the family!

Name: Tom & Wendy Nelson
Message: You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Much love to all of you.

Name: Terry Adair-Hunter
Message: Carrie, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your father - he will be missed by many...May God strengthen and guide you through this difficult time.

Name: Mike Lonsberry
Message: If anyone ever writes a modern history of Warren and Bradley County, a chapter would have to be about Bob Newton. He long ago assumed his place among the icons of Warren and Bradley County, icons who cannot be named lest we leave some out, but each of whom, like Bob, contributed something that no one else could contribute to the community. Growing up in Warren, I remember Bob Newton as being one of those people whose presence in the '50's, 60's, 70's, '80's and beyond made the community a special place in which to grow up, live, work and raise a family. No one can doubt his love of his family, his community, his church, his Lumberjacks, and his Razorbacks. May your family go in Peace with the Lord and be comforted in the knowledge that those who knew Bob will not forget him, and those who did not know him missed a lot. Warren, The Eagle Democrat and Bob Newton, they all belong in the same sentence. A life lived well for the benefit of his family and those around him. May God Bless and comfort your family during their time of loss.

Name: Cathi Compton
Message: Tricia, I'm so sorry for your loss-it's a tough one. Bill and I are thinking about you, Cathi

Name: Lathan and Donna Hairston
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Name: Ron Moseley
Message: Pat and family: We were saddened to hear the news about Bob. He was a great man in many respects, especially in the way he could tell a good story. He will be missed. You are in our prayers.

Name: Ron Moseley
Message: Pat and family: We were saddened to hear the news about Bob. He was a great man in many respects, especially in the way he could tell a good story. He will be missed. You are in our prayers.

Name: Patsy and Ron Lewellyn
Message: Our memories of Warren would most certainly be less colorful without those that include Bob! Our sympathies to you all.

Name: Jerry & Clara Carter
Message: Greetings Family, When news came of Bob's promotion we felt somewhat like David when he heard of Abner's death, he said, "Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day." To my knowledge among Bob's many honors he never receive Bradley County Citizen of the Year though I nominated him severl times in my days at Warren. Please know family that you have our love and prayers.

Name: GUY SHAHA
Message: EVEN THOUGH I LEFT WARREN AT AN EARLY AGE BOB AND THE EAGLE KEPT ME UP TO DATE ON EVERYTHING THAT WAS GOING ON IN BRADLEY COUNTY. WHEN I WOULD RETURN FOR A VISIT WITH MY FAMILY ITS AS IF I HAD NEVER LEFT HOME. WILL MISS YOU BOB. GUY

Name: June & Jackie West
Message: Dear Pat & family, We are so sorry for your loss. I loved Mr. Newton. I work for you at the Eagle for 8 Years & they were good years. You & Mr, Newton will always have a special place in my heart. Mr. Newton always had my back, even when I didn't work for him. He didn't want anyone to do me any harm. Love you Pat

Name: June Self
Message: Pat and Family: I had the privilege of being one of the editors of the Tall Timber Times during my junior and senior years, and enjoyed taking the "copy" to be published at the Eagle. Bob was a mentor for budding journalists like myself and was always an inspiration. Thanks from the class of '61.

Name: Tracy and Monica Nichols
Message: The family is in our thoughts and prayers.

Name: CATRENINIA YORK
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Name: Melissa Kiersey
Message: Dear Ms. Pat mad family, I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Bob's passing. Our love and prayers are with you during this sad time.

Name: Tina Battles, Rn
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Name: Andy Gibbs
Message: Dear Family Newton: The Eagle Democrat was and will always be an integral part of the lives of those of us who hail from Bradley County. From the Pink Tomato Edition to the Fall Football Edition to the Christmas Edition and everything in between, Mr. Newton's life work has left an indelible imprint upon us all. So long Bob Newton and thank you for the memories. Our family's prayers and thoughts are and will be with you. Andy Gibbs Frisco, TX

Name: William & Toni Carr Miller
Message: Your family is in our prayers.

Name: Tom Ed Wright
Message: I was always impressed with Mr. Newton and how friendly he was to me. I cut his grass as a teen kid and delivered papers to him at his home. He was a "true Warren" man and loved the city greatly. TE Wright

Name: John Burch
Message: Warren lost one of it's truest icons with Mr. Bob's passing. What an incredible long life he had what an impact he had on so many. His gift with words gave us a detailed glimpse of all of Warren's history and past. Mr. Bob was blessed with a wonderful wife and 4 daughters. He had several "sons of the spirit" and he always made me feel like I was one of them. After his diagnosis, he was only expected to live 2 weeks but fought long and hard for 7 months. This blessing gave us all the opportunity to tell him how much he was loved by everyone and what an impact he has had on our lives. What a legacy and great man in our community. He will for sure be missed. God Bless you Mr. Bob.

Name: Larry & Robbie Reaves
Message: An asset to our community. He will be missed.

Name: Bea Cheesman
Message: He was an inspiration to us all & will be missed.

Name: Ernie, Earline and Pam Ferrell
Message: Mr.Newton and his cotributions to Bradley County will always be a great Heritage to our county.Please accept our sympathy.

Name: Suzette Russell
Message: I accidently wrote on wrong page-Please see Mr. Burt's Love You All!! Suzette & Family & Sue Woodard

Name: Janie and Lyn Grice
Message: Heaven has a special person whom I had the great pleasure of meeting personally in Little Rock at the Race for the Cure years ago. He kept me laughing the whole time we talked and whenever we would meet afterwards. Ms Pat I know you will truly never find another man to drive around like him again. Prayers for you during this time cause I know even tho he is better off you will miss him deeply.

Name: Susie and Dan Nicholson
Message: Dear Pat and family, It was with great sadness that we learned of Bob's passing, but I am so grateful my son, Whit, and I were able to attend his memorial service. What a wonderful celebration of such an incredible and honorable life. I will always cherish my years growing up in Warren...thankful for all the special people, educators, coaches and mentors who helped shape my life. I will always hold Mr. Bob high on that list. He had such a spectacular gift to inspire people and bring out the best in all of us. His contributions to his craft and profession, as well as to Warren and Bradley County were monumental. Yes, he was an icon, but his love and devotion to Pennington township was really that of legends. He was such a good man...a dear friend who always had so many kind words to say about my Warren family and my wife and our children today. I will miss the ole Drugstore Quarterback, yet I will never forget his friendship. God bless you all in the days ahead. Dan Nicholson