Howard Newton ’51

The Reverend Howard E. Newton, of Port Orange, passed away on June 10, 2021, in Port Orange. Howard was born in Readsboro, VT, to Bill and Florence Newton in 1929 and grew up in Old Tappan, NJ. He graduated from Hope College in Holland, MI, in 1951 and went on to receive a Master of Divinity degree from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 1954. He married Frances Perry on June 26, 1954, and was ordained in the Reformed Church of America that year. His first church was in Scotia, NY. In 1957 he moved to New York City to study for a Ph.D. at Union Theological Seminary receiving a Master of Sacred Theology (magna cum laude) in 1959. He served as the pastor in Middletown, NJ, from 1958 to 1960. In 1960 he became the pastor of the First Reformed Church of Long Island City, NYC. Just prior to completing his Ph.D. he withdrew because of an illness. While serving in NYC he was very active in the civil rights movement and in ecumenical ministries. In 1965, he became the missionary minister to Stony Brook, NY, at the time a rapidly growing suburb, and built a new church. In 1971 he was invited to become a minister in the United Methodist Church and served three churches in Staten Island, NYC. He and Fran went on to serve two additional congregations -in Hobart, NY, from 1978 to 1985 and in Milford, CT, from 1985 to 1994. Howard and Fran retired to Port Orange, FL, but Howard could not stop serving and volunteered for numerous jobs including visitation minister for First United Methodist Church of Port Orange, volunteer for Hospice, and working at an overnight shelter for houseless people. Howard was a remarkable individual who touched the lives of countless people, never met a stranger, and always believed in the best of everyone. Howard is preceded in death by his wife, Frances, his son, Wayne, and his sister, Marjorie. Howard is survived by his son, Bruce (Wendy), his daughter, Lisa (Bruce); his grandchildren, Elissa (Curtis), Andy (Kate), and Delaney; his great-grandson, Kieran; his siblings Richard and Shirley; and his dear friend Elaine Mulder. Memorials may be given to First United Methodist Church of Port Orange. A memorial service will be held later this summer.

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