Walter S. Newman passed away in Naperville, Illinois on September 18, 2020. He was 97 years old, and recently celebrated his 71st wedding anniversary with his beloved wife, Midge, whom he married in 1949.
Walter is survived by his loving wife Midge; children David, Richard (Sandra), Carol, Phyllis (Bruce), and Steven Newman; grandchildren Kate and Nathan Newman; and sister Helen (the late Sam) Dickerman. He was predeceased in death by his parents, Morris and Frieda, and his brother, Leonard (the late Shirley) Newman.
Walter was extremely proud to have served with the U.S. Army Air Corps, stationed in India, during World War II, was honorably discharged as a Technical Sergeant, and was a life member of the China-Burma-India Veterans Association.
Following the war, Walter attended Oklahoma A&M (now OSU), where he received a BA in Architecture, and later studied at The Royal Institute of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark. He subsequently earned two Masters Degrees: one in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the other a Master of City Design from Miami University of Ohio, where he also taught several courses in Architecture.
Walter worked as an architect and a city planner, drafting the Master Plans for several towns in Ohio and Pennsylvania, but his legacy is most evident throughout the City of Naperville, where he served as the Director of Community Development and Zoning Administrator from 1976 to 1995. He retired in 1996 as the Director of Economic Development. During his long tenure, Walter helped the City Council create an Historic Preservation Ordinance and Historic District; directed a comprehensive revision of the City's Zoning Ordinance; and undertook the herculean task of developing Naperville's first Comprehensive Master Plan, which set the tone for development for years to come, and helped to transform Naperville from a small town into one of the fastest growing cities in the Midwest. Under his direction, the Department of Community Development issued over 30,000 building permits for new homes, implemented strict guidelines for business signage to help enhance the City's aesthetic appeal, and required that builders donate land to establish local parks and open spaces for public use. Walter was also intimately involved in the final design and siting of the Municipal Center on the Naperville Riverwalk; lent his expertise in the expansion of North Central College; and represented the City on the Naperville Planning Commission, the Historic Sites Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Building Review Board. In his later years, he volunteered at the Naper Settlement to help archive the City's history. In 2011, Walter was named to Naperville's Hall of Honor in recognition of his tremendous impact and contribution to the City, and for helping to create the Naperville we know today.
In addition to his dedication to his work and family, Walter was an avid clock collector, a voracious reader, and world traveler. He was also a member and volunteer treasurer of The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors.
Services were private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to help fund a remembrance in Walter's name in the City of Naperville. Please send to the Walter Newman Memorial Fund, c/o Carol Newman, 2913 Kentshire Circle, Naperville, IL 60564
Published by Naperville Sun on Oct. 4, 2020.