James Ronald “Ron” Newman passed away at his home near Fairplay, Colo., Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. He was born in Mountain Home, Ark., on Jan. 12, 1948, to Loraine Echols and Bill Newman. Ron graduated from Morrilton High School and University of Central Arkansas. He obtained his masters in City Planning from Kansas State University.
He served his country for six years in the United States Army National Guard.
He began his planning career in Arkansas. However, by 1997, the mountains of Colorado were calling Ron and his wife, Jane. He had a strong bond with beauty and the splendor of God’s Rocky Mountains.
Ron had consulting planning positions in Salida, Leadville and Fairplay, Colo. He obtained his teaching license and taught 10 years as the online teacher at South Park High School. He coached middle school football and high school baseball. His passion for baseball has been passed on to his grandson, Luke, who plays on the varsity team, as a freshman, at Parkview High School in Little Rock, Ark.
Besides his passion for the outdoors — skiing, mountain biking, fly fishing, hiking — he loved music. His family would play and sing for hours gathered around the family piano. He taught himself how to play piano, guitar, banjo, and mandolin. His first band was started in his garage, and then he and Jane played and sang in a rock ‘n’ roll band, Little Joe and The BKs, for nine years. After he moved to Colorado, he continued to play. His final “gigs” were at South Park Community Church, where he played the mandolin, and at Burro Days as a mandolin player and singer in the band Harvey’s Mill (named after his grandfather).
Ron had a special love for his many friends and family. He loved his community and volunteered extensively, especially at the South Park Food Bank. He was a devoted father, brother, grandfather, uncle, and great uncle. His wife of 49 years was his constant companion. They were seeking adventures daily. They just returned from a fabulous trip to Italy. Ron lived and loved life to the fullest.
He is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Jane Gilleland Newman of Fairplay, Colo.; his daughter Ashley Newman Mosely of Little Rock; his grandsons, Luke Mosely and Cole Dodson of Little Rock; and sisters, Nancy Acre of Maumelle, Ark., and Kay Trotter of Navarre, Fla.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 1 p.m. at South Park Community Church in Fairplay. Memorial donations can be made to South Park Community Church, P.O. Box 488, Fairplay, CO 80440, or to the South Park Food Bank, P.O. Box 2068, Fairplay, CO 80440.