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  • "Phil was one of my favorite Kiwanis members....We worked..."
    - Sharon Cole
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Phillip Lindsay Newton, Jr. was born in Florence, Alabama on November 16th, 1927 and passed away at his home on February 2, 2013.

The Newton's were a close knit family, and growing up in Florence Phil had many aunts and uncles to learn from. Phil's father died when he was only seven and his younger brother Jim was five. His mother, Virginia, took the boys to live with her parents (Perkins), also a close knit southern family. From those southern roots, Phil learned of their gentleness and consideration for women.

He attended school in Little Rock, Arkansas graduating in 1946. In order to pay for college he planned to join the Navy and earn the benefits of the G.I. Bill. Phil met Rita during this time and immediately sparks flew! He joined the Army Air Corps while waiting to enter the University of Alabama. By doubling up on ROTC courses he would become a Reserve Officer. He left college with the understanding he would be sent to Japan; Rita did not like that one little bit and she told him "We are going to get married" not wanting him to be tempted by the cute Oriental girls. Phil didn't object one bit and they eloped between semesters at college. He then went off for further Army training.

Phil's first overseas assignment was to Germany. Rita stayed behind and had their first baby, Nancy, and they then joined Phil in Germany. That was a glorious time for them all, the beauty of the country, wonderful fellow soldiers and their families, good Germans as well as good German food and wine. Phil rose through the ranks having many fascinating experiences during the service to his country. Their son, Phillip III, was born while he was stationed in Washington, D.C. Phil went to Vietnam in 1964 to set up communications for the "Big Red 1" of the first Infantry division. Upon his return from Vietnam, he was allowed time off to finish college at Omaha, Nebraska. The family later went to Bangkok, Thailand, as Phil's last military assignment. The entire family loved their time in Bangkok! After 23 years of military service he was still a young man. He was hired by Continental Telephone in Wentzville, Missouri, retiring from that company, joining a new company his former boss was setting up.

Phil was proud to have served in three branches of the military service. He retired three times, moved twenty eight times and they finally settled in Mount Vernon, put down roots and called it home. They would like to thank all of the angels they have encountered during their life in Mount Vernon.

The family would also like to thank each of his physicians for taking such good care of him; the staff of Skagit Valley Kidney Center whom he called his angels because they were so kind and thoughtful. He also appreciated all the fun and work with the Kiwanis Club of Mount Vernon and his many dear friends. ROLL TIDE ROLL for the University of Alabama!

Everyone may not understand, but we both always felt that GOD meant for us to be together always. We had so much fun and happiness throughout our life together.

He is survived by his wife, Rita at the home; daughter, Nancy of Davenport, Iowa and son, Phil (III), his children Erin, Megan and Joshua, Phil's wife Deborah and her children Brian, Micheal Huber and wife Kitty, Lauren Mock and husband Mark. Also surviving are 8 grandchildren; Phil's sister-in-law, Geraldine Newton; and many dearest friends.

In his memory, memorial donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon, Kiwanis Club of Mount Vernon, Skagit Valley Kidney Center, Hospice of the Northwest or a . Services will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon on Saturday, February 9, at 1:00 p.m.
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