John J. Newton, M.D., known to many as Jack, age 95, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Sunday, April 18, 2021, while visiting his sons in Houston, Texas. Jack was born on December 16, 1925, in Hamler, Ohio to Ada Magadeline (Gordon) and Joseph Vatise Newton.
Jack grew up in Sylvania Ohio. He attended Burnham High School, graduating in 1943. Upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corp as an engineer. Stationed at Chanute Air Force Base near Champaign, Illinois, and met the love of his life Dorothy DeMet while visiting friends at the University of Illinois. It was love at first sight, and they quickly began building their lives’ dreams together. Using his GI bill, Jack returned to Sylvania to attend the University of Toledo (1946-1949), married Dorothy on July 2, 1949, and began medical school at Loyola University of Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine (1949-1952). He completed his internship at San Joaquin Hospital, Stockton California (1952-1953) and began his medical career as a family practice physician in Sylvania, Ohio in 1954.
Jack and Dorothy welcomed five children into their lives between 1951 and 1959, while Jack was building his medical practice. His distinguished career in private practice was filled with addressing the health care needs of the Sylvania community including delivering babies and completing house calls through 1980 when he left private practice to join The Toledo Hospital. While at The Toledo Hospital, he served as Medical Director of the newly created Toledo Hospital Alcoholism Treatment Center (1980-1987) and Director of Medical Affairs/Quality Assurance (1988 to 1998). He rounded out his medical career serving as the Medical Director of Cordelia Martin (1998-2002) and Physician Liaison for Toledo Lucas County CareNet (2003 to 2014).
Jack was a servant leader and dedicated much time to giving back to the community. His community involvement and accomplishments were many. Perhaps his most significant contributions included serving for 42 years on the Lucas County Board of Health. As a member of the Lucas County Board of Health from 1962 to 1970, and serving as President from 1970 to 2000, Jack led the successful push to ban smoking inside all public places in the county and was instrumental in combining the Toledo and Lucas County Boards of Health. He served as the Charter President of the resulting Lucas County Regional Health District from 2000 to 2004. Additional accomplishments included serving as President of the Lucas County Mental Health Board, President of the Lucas County Board of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, President of the Toledo Academy of Medicine, President of the Ohio Division of the American Cancer Society, President of the Academy of Medicine of Toledo and Lucas County, member of the Toledo Family Health Center Board of Directors, member of the Ohio State Medical Association and American Medical Association, Board member of Ohio Association of Free Clinics and consultant to Samaritan Counseling Center.
He was recognized by his colleagues and peers for his service and was the recipient of many awards including: recognition as an Honorary Trustee of ProMedica in 2015; Healthcare Heroes Award 2012; Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Award for Exemplary Service 2004; Jefferson Award Nominee 2003; ProMedica Health Advocate of the Year 2003; Sylvania School’s Hall of Fame 1993.
Most importantly, Jack led by example. He was a humble man who always did the right thing. His giving nature was ever-present with his family. He was not quick to judge and he gave his children the tools to be the captains of their own destiny. He was a friend, counselor, and always supported the decisions his children made, and the directions they chose to go. Memories of his wisdom, steady guidance, friendship and love will continue to provide strength to his children and grandchildren.
Jack had a strong faith and prayed daily. He had a great sense of humor, loved to tell jokes, loved to drive fast cars and was an avid reader. He enjoyed fine dining, was a consummate wine connoisseur, and loved to exercise. He never complained and was a gift to every life that he touched.
Jack cherished spending time with friends, especially when playing golf or gin rummy at Highland Meadows Golf Club where he was a lifetime member after having been a caddy during his childhood. Jack loved to travel and visited Europe every year for 50 years with his wife Dorothy. He also travelled to Egypt, Israel, the Galapagos Islands, Chile and the Panama Canal. Additionally he cherished the time he spent with his children and grandchildren during their annual vacations to Cedar Point and Hilton Head. He was still riding the Dragster and all the best coasters with his children and grandchildren well into his eighties.
Jack was preceded in death by his wife Dorothy and his brother, Duane Newton. Jack is survived by his children John (Maureen) Newton, David Newton, Thomas (Carla) Newton; daughters Mary (Bob) Westphal, and Patricia (Randal) Virost; 12 grandchildren, Amanda (David) Osta, Benjamin (Deena) Newton, Molly (Linda) Newton-Holmes, Michael (Jen) Newton, Erin (Armando) Hernandez, Emily (Louis) Friend, Phillip Newton, Glenn (Kathryn) Westphal, Scott Westphal, Elaine Westphal, Kelly (Brendan) Keep, Andrew Virost; as well as 12 great grandchildren.
The family thanks Dr. Margaret Durkin for her care and support as well as the caring team at Sunset Village.
A celebration of life in honor of both Jack and his wife Dorothy, who passed in March 2020, will be held on Friday, June 11, 2021, from 4 pm to 7 pm at Reeb Funeral Home in Sylvania. Memorial contributions may be made to ProMedica Toledo Hospital Foundation and mailed to ProMedica Foundations, 444 N. Summit St., Suite 100, Toledo, Ohio 43604.
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