Joseph F. P. Newhall, Jr., passed away on December 30th at the age of 92 after a long and fulfilling life of service to God and humankind.
Joe was born on March 16, 1928 in Grand Rapids Michigan to Joseph F. P. Newhall Sr and Ruth Patterson Newhall. The family moved often secondary to his father’s work including stints in Washington, D.C., Clearwater, Florida, and Reidsville, North Carolina. In 1945, on his 17th birthday, he joined the Navy but as he liked to joke, the Axis powers heard that he had enlisted and threw in the towel before he could get into the fight. After two years stationed at Great Lakes Naval Air Station he was discharged from the Navy and enrolled in Wake Forest University, graduating in 3 years, and then attended Tulane Medical School in New Orleans, graduating in 1955. It was there that he met the love of his life, his “sweetie”, Sue Mayes, a hematology laboratory technologist, and they were married in June 1955. After finishing his OB/GYN residency at Tulane they moved to Bradenton in 1959 where he joined Simkus & Southerland OB/GYN. In 1963 Joe and Sue left Bradenton with their 3 sons for Namkham, Burma where they worked with Dr. Gordon Seagrave, the Burma Surgeon, in his hospital near the Chinese border. Upon Dr. Seagrove’s death and the forced expulsion of foreign nationals by the authoritarian Burmese military government, they moved back to Bradenton in 1965 where he resumed his medical practice. He retired from Manatee OB/GYN in 1997.
Joe was active member of Bradenton Rotary Club for 4 decades, and both he and Sue were honored with the Paul Harris Fellow Award for their public service. The Newhall home hosted numerous Rotary international exchange students with whom they maintained life-long relationships. Joe and Sue were longstanding active members of Westminster Presbyterian Church where they served in numerous roles. They were avid outdoor enthusiasts who enjoyed cycling, camping, hiking, scuba diving, and especially running. Joe successfully completed marathons into his 60’s, ultimately taking on and completing an ultramarathon. Being the sensible man that he was, he resolved immediately after completing the ultramarathon that one was enough for a lifetime. Joe and Sue also traveled extensively, visiting their former international exchange students as well as hiking in Switzerland and cycling with Elder Hostel in Europe. They enjoyed several scuba diving trips to the Caribbean with their 6 sons and hiked hundreds of miles of the Appalachian Trail. After Joe’s retirement he and Sue spent up to six months of each year at their cabin home in remote western North Carolina where they enjoyed living “off the radar” with their dogs and cats. While Sue would start proposing a return to Bradenton in the early fall when her numerous social and charitable clubs would resume meeting, Joe was content to remain in the mountains until cold weather eventually drove him back to Florida.
Joe was well known by many long-time Bradenton residents. He helped to bring thousands of babies into the world, eventually delivering the children of children he had delivered earlier in his career. Regardless of how people knew Joe he was universally loved and respected. Our family wishes to thank all those who shared their love and kindness with him for so many years during his battle with Parkinson’s Disease, particularly Lois and Norm Lee. The family also wishes to thank caretakers Tonya Hoffstetter, Vicki Applequist, Melissa Salem, Fabula Supplice, Marie Kidd, Megan Bushy and Christy Garrett. Their love and dedication allowed Joe to remain in his home throughout his long battle with Parkinson’s.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Patricia Newhall, and Sue, his beloved wife of 62 years. He is survived by sons, Tim of Tallahassee, Phil of Fort Myers, John of New Port Richey, James, Paul, and Judson of Bradenton, a niece August Murray of Howey In the Hills, Fla., and 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
A private grave site service is planned at the Sarasota National Cemetery. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations in his memory be made to Manatee County Humane Society or the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s.
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