James Ronald “Ron” Newman, 71, died Oct. 22, 2019, at his home near Fairplay.
He was born Jan. 12, 1948, in Mountain Home, Arkansas, to Loraine Echols and Bill Newman.
He graduated from Morrilton High School and the University of Central Arkansas. He obtained his master’s degree in city planning from Kansas State University.
He served six years in the U.S. Army National Guard.
Mr. Newman began his planning career in Arkansas. However, by 1997 he and his wife, Jane, decided to move to the Rocky Mountains.
He had consulting planning positions in Salida, Leadville and Fairplay.
Mr. Newman 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, Arkansas.
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 his wife played and sang in a rock and 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.
Mr. Newman loved his community and volunteered extensively, especially at the South Park Food Bank.
His wife was his constant companion. They frequently sought adventures and recently returned from a trip to Italy.
His family said he lived and loved life to the fullest and was a devoted father, brother, grandfather, uncle and great-uncle.
Mr. Newman was preceded in death by his parents.
Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Jane Gilleland Newman; daughter, Ashley Newman Mosely of Little Rock; grandsons, Luke Mosely and Cole Dodson of Little Rock; and sisters, Nancy Acre of Maumelle, Arkansas, and Kay Trotter of Navarre, Florida.
His memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Nov. 30, 2019, at South Park Community Church in Fairplay.
Memorial donations may be made to South Park Community Church, P.O. Box 488, Fairplay, CO 80440 or to South Park Food Bank, P.O. Box 2068, Fairplay, CO 80440.
Arrangements were with The Springs Funeral Services in Colorado Springs.