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Farewell to Bob Newton
Bob's funeral took place at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, Va. on 29 September 2012.
The day before the funeral, Linda Newton and the family invited classmates and friends to a picnic at Roundaway Farm, the Newton's home in Marshall, Va. Tables were set outside by the gardens and pool. This is horse country. The rolling hills and pastures were a fine background on a partly sunny afternoon as the guests enjoyed pulled pork, salads and desserts. The picnic, so typical of the way Bob and Linda always entertained in the past, was in its way a sad reminder of Bob's passing. Our classmate, Jim Darrah, read a poem penned by another West Pointer, whose class tradition was to bid farewell to a fallen classmate by each tapping his class ring on the coffin. At the funeral on Saturday, a number of us gathered around Bob at the end of the ceremony to do just that.
Some sixty family and friends were at the picnic. Our class was represented by: Norm and Barb Blahuta, Jim and Billie Darrah, Marcia Cathey, Dan and Yvette Troyan, Ed and Betsy Anderson, Al and Dot Spaulding, Carl and Jo Ann McNair, Tommy and Elaine West, Joe and Connie Franklin, Greta Masson, John and Ruth Sloan, Jim Ryan, Bob Deardorff, Diane and Dick Gottron, Rich and Mary Ann Miller.
Trinity Episcopal Church is a lovely large French Norman style building with burial ground adjacent to the church. The morning haze gave way to bright sunlight by 1100. Our large class wreath of mums with seasonal flowers and black, gold and grey ribbon, adorned with our class crest, was at the entrance. A lone bag piper played as the casket arrived. The church was filled to capacity by about 300 when a military honor guard accompanied the flag covered casket inside for the service. A very fine portrait of Bob was on the first page of the program, a Celebration of the Life of Colonel Robert W. Newton (USA, Ret) April 17, 1931 - August 21, 2012.
It was a beautiful celebration. The West Point Alumni Glee Club sang "The Corps" during the service in the church and, joined by all the graduates present, sang "The Alma Mater" at the gravesite. Moving tributes to Bob were given by Efrain Arellanos, a long time employee whom Bob had mentored, by Tommy West who led us in the Cadet Prayer, and by Bob and Linda's son, Robert W. Newton, Jr. A forth eulogy, by Dick Irish, a neighbor who was on a Mediterranean cruise, was read by Robert Banse, the minister.
The burial service followed in the church cemetery with full military honors. The military honor guard, led by an Army colonel, fired the traditional three volleys and a trumpeter sounded the solemn notes of "Taps". The flag was carefully folded and presented to Linda. Everyone, privately, bid farewell to our classmate and longtime friend.
A reception was held in the church hall after the graveside service. The crowd was large and I may have missed seeing some of our classmates. I saw or spoke with the following in addition to those at the picnic: Ray Gunderson, Rod Vitty, Don and Carla Hilbert, Zach and Carolyn Hagedorn, Nancy Bishop, Leo and Pauline Hergenroeder, Dave McNerney, Jim Cutchin, Bill and Joan McCulla, Ted and Starla Vitori, Marty McGuire, Val Bundren, Ted Gay, Dan and Donna Ludwig, Matt and Betty Schepps, John Rudzki, Bob and Pat Strati.
Linda would like to thank all those classmates who assisted in providing this honorable send off to Bob.
Bob, be thou at peace.
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Linda (Draper) Newton
March 10, 1935 - March 24, 2018
Linda Draper Newton of Marshall, Va., retired to the Piedmont with her husband in 1991 from Fairfax, and soon became an important player in local historic and land preservation and garden clubs. She passed away on March 24, 2018, peacefully at her home.
She was born March 10, 1935, at West Point, N.Y., the daughter of Ethel Woodruff Draper and Maj. Gen. Philip H. Draper, Jr. She is preceded in death by her husband, Col. Robert W. Newton, her parents, and a sister, Anne. She is survived by her children, Robert, Tracey, David and his wife, Jamie, and Maryanne and her husband, Nicholas; her six grandchildren, Rebecca, Zachary, Draper, Avery, Nell, and Trey; and two siblings, Stephen and Sherri.
Linda pursued many interests and developed countless friendships at multiple postings during her early years as an “Army brat” and later as an Army spouse. She recalled that Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, was a sleepy idyllic tropical paradise until the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was bombed. “Our dear mother protected our fears by taking us up to Koli Koli pass in case the Japanese landed, all the while pretending we were going on a picnic,” she later wrote. She remembered a late-night ride in an Army truck past Pearl Harbor, seeing burning ships, then spending the first night in a Honolulu school house in case of sabotage.” The war years were spent in her mother’s home town of Columbus, Ga., and in London.
Linda studied interior design at Bennett Junior College and George Washington University and finance at George Mason University. After marrying an Army officer, she moved every year or two and eventually settled in northern Virginia, where she raised their four children, rode horses, lead girl and boy scouts, attended Little League, volunteered and gardened. She put her skills to use in family businesses and charitable organizations. She helped found The Family Respite Center, now known as the Memory Insight Care Center, in Fairfax, and served as both president and treasurer.
She also served as president of the Fauquier Loudoun Garden Club, working to preserve natural places and structures, including the Goose Creek Bridge. She helped found and was president of the Atoka Preservation Society, which preserved the history and structures of the crossroads village of Atoka. She bred thoroughbreds, including Maryland Million winner Miss Lombardi. Linda was also a member of the Middleburg Garden Club, Colonial Dames of America, the National Society of Colonial Dames and the Trinity Church Bell Choir. She created a beautiful space for family and friends at Roundaway Farm, which was opened for Virginia Historic Garden Week.
A funeral service will be held April 19 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, Upperville. In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to the Trinity Church Campus Renewal Fund or U.S. Military Academy Equestrian Facility.