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Lorenz "Larry" Newton

1919 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Lorenz "Larry" Newton Obituary
Lorenz "Larry" Newton


Lorenz "Larry" Newton, 93, a long-time resident of Salinas, died peacefully Friday, November 8, 2013, at Hillhaven Assisted Living in Maryland. He was born December 27, 1919, in Mobridge, S.D.

He grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota, the middle child of seven. His high school classmates said he would "take a try at anything." He served in the U.S. Navy from December 1941 - November 1945 and participated in seven major Pacific Area campaigns, from Guadalcanal to Okinawa. He earned the Presidential Unit Citation for service with the 1st Marine Division in the Battle for Guadalcanal, one of the few Navy men to hold this honor. He was cited for his "outstanding gallantry and determination...of an inspiring order." Following Naval service, he attended the University of Minnesota for a bachelor's degree and the University of California, Berkeley for a master's degree, both in political science. He then taught at Modesto High School and Modesto Community College, and subsequently at San Francisco State College. From 1956 until his retirement in 1980, he worked at Hartnell Community College, where he was an instructor, Dean of the Evening Division, and department chairperson. He was a popular and engaging teacher, known for conducting straw polls for every election and facilitating lively debate on political issues. He maintained an entertaining collection of Hartnell College history and memorabilia. After retiring, he was instrumental in establishing the Hartnell College Foundation and was active in its Boronda International Scholarships and Harden Teaching Excellence Awards Committee. Other service included: president of the World Affairs Council; Board of Directors of the Salinas YMCA; member of Citizen's Advisory Committee, Soledad Prison; the Salinas Democratic Club; the Sierra Club and Dorothy's Place.

Larry was a devoted spouse, father, and grandfather, a favorite teacher of many, an astute and witty political commentator, a prolific writer of letters to the editor, a drama critic, an indulgent dog owner, a patron of the arts, world traveler, a patriot who proudly flew the America flag on holidays and displayed the American eagle on his home, and a generous friend to many. His keen sense of humor outlives him. He was an ardent supporter of all things Democratic, leading local campaigns for national and local level candidates such as JFK, H. Humphrey, Edmund G. Brown, Pierre Salinger, Alan Cranston, Fred Farr, and others. A child of the Great Depression, he often advised, "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."

Predeceased by his wife of 37 years, Ruth "Betty" Newton (nee Palson), he is survived by his daughter, Nancy Newton of Takoma Park, MD; his son, Andy Newton (Jeanine) of Salinas, and his granddaughter, Ana Palomino of Takoma Park.

He will be buried at sea in a Naval ceremony.

A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, January 12, 2014 from 2 to 4 p.m., at his favorite restaurant the Golden Fish, 221 Main St., Salinas.

At Larry's request "no flowers"; donations to the Lorenz A. Newton Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Hartnell College Foundation, 411 Central Ave., Salinas, CA 93901 will be gratefully accepted.

Published in The Salinas Californian from Dec. 5 to Dec. 9, 2013
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