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Paul Melvin Newton

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Paul Melvin Newton Obituary
Paul Melvin Newton


Paul Melvin Newton, 88, of Gulfport, went to his heavenly rest on February 10, 2014. The son of Pearl Henderson Newton and Robert Melvin Newton, Paul was born in Wiggins on November 11, 1925 and graduated in 1942 from Wiggins High School, where he was president, valedictorian, and captain of the football team. He obtained a BBA in Accounting in 1948 and law degree in 1951, both from the University of Mississippi. At Ole Miss, he served as editor of The Mississippian newspaper, and was selected to the six-member 1948 Hall of Fame. He was President of Omicron Delta Kappa leadership fraternity, a member of Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity, Pi Kappa Pi and Phi Eta Sigma scholastic fraternities, and President of Kappa Sigma social fraternity.

Paul was a World War II veteran, serving in the Army Air Corps on Guam. He was honorably discharged at age 20 with the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Paul's life-long love of music showed as he played piano in "The Mississippians" dance band at Ole Miss and in dance bands at various military bases while in the Army. He took great delight in his family's on-going interest in music.

Paul married Sara Anne Elliott of Jackson in 1950, which he frequently commented was the best decision that he ever made.

Paul began his law practice as a trial attorney with the Internal Revenue Service offices in Dallas and New Orleans. In 1958, he established his own law firm with his brother Bob in Hattiesburg, which he continued in Gulfport until retirement in 2008. He was the senior partner of Newton and Hoff, LLP, specializing in wills, estates, trusts, estate planning, and taxation. Paul served as President of the Mississippi Bar Foundation, and as the Mississippi State Chairman of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). He was listed in The Best Lawyers in America, and was a member of the American Bar Association, Mississippi Bar Association, and Harrison County Bar Association. Paul cared deeply for his clients, and his counsel was sought by those from all walks of life.

As a dedicated community member, Mr. Newton was a Director of the Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Board of Directors of the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, and a member of the Board of Directors of the MHG Development Foundation. Paul was a long-time member and Paul Harris Fellow of the Gulfport Rotary Club, and a member of the Gulfport Yacht Club. He served as King of the Merry Maskers Carnival Organization, and was a past president of the Century Club.

Paul was a committed Christian and an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Gulfport for over 50 years, where he was an Elder Emeritus and served as Clerk of the Session, Deacon, and teacher of the Men's Bible Class.

Paul was an avid supporter of Ole Miss and of its athletic programs, as a member of the Chancellor's Trust, the Lamar Order, and a life member of the University of Mississippi Alumni Association. He served as President of the Gulf Coast Ole Miss Alumni Club, and remained confident that his Rebels would someday repeat as national football champions.

Paul was frequently referred to as a true gentleman, and was universally respected and admired.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Pearl Newton of Wiggins; his two brothers and their wives, Robert (Fay) and Joseph Benjamin (Ruth), all of Wiggins; his brother-in-law, Thomas Landrum, Sr. of Baton Rouge, LA; and his brother-in-law, George Elliott of Madison, MS.

Survivors include Paul's beloved wife of over 63 years, Sara Elliott Newton; daughter Marie Newton of Houston, TX; son and daughter-in-law Paul Newton, Jr. and Virginia Shanteau Newton of Gulfport; granddaughter Grace Newton; sister Lillian Landrum of Baton Rouge; brother-in-law and wife, James and Charlene Elliott of Brookhaven; sister-in-law Carlene Elliott of Madison; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be Thursday, February 13, 2014 from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. at the RIEMANN FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, 11280 Three Rivers Road, Gulfport. The funeral service will be held on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Gulfport, with a visitation at 12:00 noon for one hour before the service. Burial will follow the service at Floral Hills Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to First Presbyterian Church of Gulfport, the University of Mississippi Foundation, the , or to one's favorite charity.

An online obituary may be viewed and memories shared at

Published in the Hattiesburg American on Feb. 12, 2014
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