Stephen Harrel "Steve" Newton
1948 - 2017
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Stephen "Steve" Harrel Newton
1948 ~ 2017
Stephen "Steve" Harrel Newton died on August 27, 2017 in Meridian, Idaho at the age of 69.
Steve was born to parents James and Emaline Newton in Winfield, KS on June 30, 1948. His family moved to Colorado in 1957 and settled in the Denver area in 1960. He graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in June 1966, and was an active member of the band, orchestra, jazz band and concert choir. In 1966, he enrolled at Western State College, in Gunnison, CO, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education in 1970, double majoring in instrumental and vocal music education. Steve earned a master's degree in trumpet performance and, years later, a master's degree in counseling.
In June 1970, Steve married his high school sweetheart, LuAnn Stevenson. They welcomed two children, Aaron and Sara.
Steve taught music in Denver, Durango, and Grand Junction, CO. In 1983, the Newton family moved to Idaho Falls, ID, where Steve was the choral director at Skyline High School. He later became a school counselor in the Idaho Falls area for 12 years. While in Idaho Falls, he also was an adjunct trumpet instructor at then Ricks College for 16 years and enjoyed performing with the many community music organizations. Steve played the lead role in many operas and musicals, including Fiddler on the Roof, The Mikado, Music Man, and The Merry Widow. He conducted 15 school district musicals and 12 community musicals.
In 2001, the Newtons moved to the Treasure Valley, where Steve spent one year as a high school counselor in the Nampa School District, before taking over the instrumental and vocal music programs at Kuna High School in 2002. He was very proud to build a strong foundation for the music program in Kuna. In 2012, Steve received the "Idaho Educator of the Year" award, presented by the Idaho Music Education Association.
In 2012, Steve retired from public education after 42 years of service. During this time, he enjoyed fishing and traveling with LuAnn. In 2016, they took the "trip of a lifetime" to the British Isles and France. Steve was most proud to attend a choral performance of The Faure Requiem at Notre Dame Cathedral.
Steve is survived by his wife, LuAnn Newton; his daughter, Sara Newton-Klitz; his brother, Ron Newton; his five grandchildren, Garrett, Isabelle, and AnnaKate Newton, and Benjamin and Jacob Klitz. He is preceded in death by his parents, James and Emaline Newton, and his son, Aaron Newton.
There will be two memorial services scheduled to celebrate Steve's life and accomplishments, on September 8, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Boise, ID with a reception to follow, and on September 15, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Idaho Falls, ID. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the "Newton Music Scholarship" to Kuna High School, c/o Kuna Education Foundation (checks addressed to), 637 E. Deer Flat Rd, Kuna, ID 83634. To view full obituary and to share memories and condolences, please visit

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Published in Idaho Statesman from Aug. 31 to Sep. 7, 2017.
Memorial service
11:00 AM
First United Methodist Church, Cathedral of the Rockies
Memorial service
10:00 AM
First Presbyterian Church of Idaho Falls
Memories & Condolences
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14 entries
November 14, 2017
What a larger than life person, he will be greatly missed. My sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones during this time. I was in choir with Mr. Newton for my high school years at Skyline High School (class of 1989). Choir class was one of my favorite classes, he taught me to sing out, we had such a great time in class, laughing and singing:) I also played violin under his direction many times during those years for district musicals. I now teach music myself in District #91 for K-6th grade. Thank You Mr. Newton for all you taught me that I can now impart on my own students!!
Jennifer Korenke-Stanger
October 7, 2017
Thank you for your gift of music and inspiration to so many. (Kara Esparza Lattimer - from SHS, Class 1989)
Kara Lattimer
September 9, 2017
Dear old friend, there was no one like you. I will always cherish our many laughs together.
Maureen Denver
September 8, 2017
Well done, good and faithful servant. You will be missed by many and remembered for your cheerful presence.
Neysa Jensen
September 6, 2017
Mr Newton was one of my favorite teachers of all time. He made Marching Band tough but fun. My condolences to family, friends, & all who loved this wonderful man.
Teri Hendricks
September 5, 2017
Dear Luann,
Joe and I were so sorry to hear of Steves passing. What a wonderful man! He always gave Joe and me the "giggles" at the wrong times. His booming voice will be so welcome in heaven. We love you and pray for peace to you and your family.
Joe and Karen Podany
September 3, 2017
Our deepest sympathies are with you all. May you feel ever blessed with the memory of this wonderful man. I loved hearing his magnificent voice in our church choir, he was a beautiful soul indeed. He will be missed for sure - Heaven is truly lucky to have received him back home again.
Much love,
The Carolla Family
carolyn carolla
September 3, 2017
I am so sorry for the loss of Steve and pray for the family. Steve was a wonderful friend and co-worker. I enjoyed visiting with him and I was always so happy to hear him singing when he came into the office at KHS, it always put a smile on my face. He will be greatly missed as he always had a positive attitude and wonderful personality.
Norma Rognlie
September 3, 2017
Sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and sending hugs.
Tiffany Jones
September 2, 2017
I played many musicals in high school with Mr. Newton directing. He was one of a kind, pure joy to work with and always full of fun! I also got to be the fiddler when he was Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and we danced and played onstage together. Such great times! I loved his sparkling eyes and smile and his bigger than life personality, and his big laugh! Grateful for his encouragement in my life as a young musician. He was a friend to all and will really be missed! Sending love and condolences to all his family!
Jan Yarrington Hepworth
September 2, 2017
We are so sorry for the loss of such a great man and educator. Mr. Newton will be missed by many, he made such a huge impact on so many young lives. The Newton family is in our prayers."To be early is on time, to be on time is late, and to be late is unacceptable "Newtonisms
Nancy Stauffer
September 1, 2017
Our condolences to the family. He was a special teacher and great musician. He was the heart of the Kuna Schools music programs for years. We appreciated his enthusiastic development of the marching band and other areas of music.
The Brasley Family
September 1, 2017
Mr. Newton was mine and my sister's choir director. We played piano and sang in his choirs. We absolutely loved him. He was the most creative, talented, and sweet man. We won't ever forget him. Our love and the love of many others whom he taught is sent to his family.
Julie Anderson
August 28, 2017
My thoughts are with the family during this difficult time. I hope that the promise in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 can bring comfort. Knowing that there is a hope for our love ones lost in death can be reassuring.
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