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Kenneth M. Newton

Mr. Kenneth McLellan "Kenny" Newton beloved husband, father, and friend passed peacefully in Glasgow, Mont., on Saturday, March 16, 2024, at the age of 100

All are welcome to attend and celebrate Kenny's life. There will be a viewing at Bell Mortuary, Glasgow, Friday, March 29, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 30, at 11 a.m. at the Glasgow Methodist Church, with a reception to follow at the Glasgow Elks Lodge.

Kenny was born on Nov. 30, 1923, in Hobson, Mont., to William "Bill" Newton and Annie McLellan Newton. In June 1935, Kenny, his mother and brother Dean would move to join their father in Glasgow. His father purchased a car dealership in Glasgow where he sold Hudson-Terraplanes during the Fort Peck Dam construction boom. Kenny would go on to graduate from Glasgow High School in 1941 and shortly after married Shirley Elliott, his high school sweetheart in Elizabethtown, Ky., as Kenny was serving in the United States Army.

Kenny served in the U.S. Army during World War II. His Army training at Camp Atturbury in Indiana began auspiciously when he met fellow barracks-mate, Mel Mellinger. The two became fast friends and bonded over their mutual faith. The friendship would prove to serve them both well during their deployment in the Eastern theater as part of the 143rd Infantry Regiment.

Not long after their arrival in Europe in December 1944, Kenny and Mel would be captured along with other Allied Forces during the Battle of the Bulge. They would spend the next couple months in a Nazi prison camp north of Dresden, Germany. The pair would eventually decide they would rather risk their lives trying to escape than die under the brutal conditions at the camp. The pair did indeed escape and spent several days making their way across the countryside trying to reconnect with the Allies. While hiding in a barn loft on an old German homestead the pair would be recaptured and imprisoned in a nearby city. Soon after their second imprisonment, they would be force marched away from the advancing Russian forces. On this march, Kenny and Mel would be separated. Kenny managed to escape a second time and make his way to a Red Cross station and eventually to hospitals in Paris and New York to treat his injuries. The two friends would eventually reunite back in the States and remained the closest of friends until Mel's passing.

Kenny would return to his family in the summer of 1945. He reunited with his bride, Shirley, and their little girl Carole. Kenny and Shirley would go on to have six children: Terry, Tim, Ted, Lorie, and Lisa, over the course of their 66-year marriage. Shirley would pass in April 2009. Kenny had a granite bench made and placed at Highland Cemetery. For years following her passing, Kenny would visit with Shirley giving updates on the "goings-on," the business, and their family. He would often end those visits by telling her he loved her and joking he would see her just as soon as God was done with him.

Not long after the war, Kenny began to ply his trade in the same way his Father had done. Kenny Newton was by many accounts a natural-born salesman. His charisma, business savvy, and fortitude would lead him to start Newton Motor's Inc. in 1950 in Glasgow. It was not uncommon for Kenny to wake up early and park a new vehicle in an unsuspecting customer's driveway and then call them to ask if their wife liked the color. On more than one occasion his tactics would prove successful. Kenny would continue to "work the phones" well into his 80s. He also delighted working side-by-side with his sons Terry and Ted at the dealership along with Tim's help and guidance at the bank.

Kenny's passion for service continued in his community long after he left the military. He served in numerous local organizations including Shriners, a 71-year member of the Elks Lodge No. 1922, a 70-year member as a Mason at North Star Lodge #46 and a 78-year member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 41. Never one to rest on his laurels, Kenny would spend much of his free time tinkering in his garage building birdhouses, gardening or taking care of the landscape around the home he and Shirley had made overlooking the Milk River valley. He was a faithful man and was an active member of the Glasgow Congregational Church and subsequently the Glasgow Lutheran and Glasgow Evangelical churches.

He was a man of faith and a servant to those around him. If ever someone needed a helping hand, he would reach out with both. Through his traumatic and miraculous experience during his military service, to his 41 years of sobriety, to his sudden blindness early in 2002, Kenny learned to see the positive in even the bleakest circumstances and to strive to walk alongside those who may have stumbled.

Kenny is preceded in death by his Mother and Father; brother Dean Newton; and sisters Donna (Frank) Lacina and Elaine (Gene) Etchart.

He is survived by his children, Carole Appling, Terry Newton, Tim (Karen) Newton, Kenneth L. "Ted" (Karen) Newton, Lorie (Bob Sachs) Newton and Lisa (Andy) McCormick; grandchildren Cindy (Scott) Marquart, Douglas (Katie) Hegglin, Suzy (Dave) Brown, Amy (Todd) Aune, Juli (Cody) Cornwell, Bill (Arron) Franzen, Andy Newton, Dyan (Ben) Garcia, Ross (Asha) Franzen, Shawn Newton, Jackson McCormick and Clay McCormick; great-grandchildren Chris (Allie) Marquart, Tom (Rachel) Marquart, Jake (Kelsey) Newton, Charlie Cornwell, J.P. Cornwell, Jack Cornwell, Tee Aune, Demi (Keelan) Aune Taber, Tel Aune, Daley Aune, Brooke Franzen, Jayden Franzen, Zoey Garcia, Colton Garcia, Dakota Franzen and Beau Franzen; as well as nieces and nephews, Michelle (Steve) Page, Joe (Pat) Etchart, Mike Newton, Todd Newton, Kathy Lacina, Sharon (Greg) Lacina Pool, Janeen (Tom) McCarvel, Jackie Fredrickson; and numerous great-great grandchildren. He loved and was incredibly proud of them all.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to a charity of your choosing.

Condolences can be sent to Bell Mortuary 701 2nd Ave. South, Glasgow, Montana.

 

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