Dan Charles Newton, age 68 of Grimes, Iowa (formerly of Newton), passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, January 21, 2021.
The son of Melvin and Helen (Hetzel) Newton, Dan was born on April 18, 1952, in Des Moines. Dan grew up in Newton and graduated from Newton Senior High School in 1970.
While in high school, Dan was very involved in student government and was elected president of the student council. As a junior, he attended American Legion Boys State at Camp Dodge. His experience there sparked a life-long passion for the program. For 41 years, he has returned as a Boys State counselor every summer.
Dan's career path as a pharmacist began when he was just 14 years old, working as a clerk at the Corner Pharmacy in Newton. While in college, he interned at Nollen Drug Store before graduating from the University of Iowa's College of Pharmacy in 1975. From there, Dan worked at hospital pharmacies in Osage, Waterloo, and Maquoketa, before returning to Newton in 1991. He then spent the majority of his career as a pharmacist at Skiff Medical Center (MercyONE Newton). He thoroughly enjoyed his colleagues and counseling his patients in regards to their medications. Dan retired from his role at Skiff in 2013. However, Dan couldn't seem to stay away from the profession. Since his retirement, he has worked part-time as a pharmacist for Newton Wal-Mart.
In 1986, Dan met his future wife, Mary Clarke, with some help from his dad. Dan's father, Melvin, had previously hired Mary to teach music in the Newton schools. Melvin passed along her name to Dan in hopes that they would hit it off. Fortunately, they did. Dan and Mary were married on July 11, 1987, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Newton. They were blessed with three children: Sarah, Brian, and Kevin. Dan was a loving father and was notorious for his dad jokes. He would often laugh so hard before he even told them.
Dan enjoyed exercising and was known for walking faithfully every day. No matter how busy he was, he made time to walk on the treadmill during his lunch break or you could find him walking outside if the weather was nice. Dan also enjoyed reading books on his Kindle, and spending his days off going on adventures with Mary. They took annual trips to the Chicago Cubs' spring training in Arizona, and attended several baseball games at Wrigley Field in Chicago. More importantly; however, he loved spending time with his family. He especially enjoyed babysitting his grandchildren, Logan and Libby.
Those left to honor Dan's memory include his wife, Mary, and children, Sarah (BJ) Newcomb of Grimes, Iowa, and their children, Logan and Libby; Brian Newton of San Diego, California; and Kevin Newton of Davenport, Iowa. Also surviving are his mother Helen Newton of Newton, Iowa; brother, Ted (Joan) Newton of Loudon, Tennessee; and sister, Kay (David) Peterson of Gainesville, Virginia. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Due to COVID, a private family funeral will be held on Monday, January 25th, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Colfax. Following the funeral, the burial will take place at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Newton. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Memorials can be made out to "American Legion Boys State" to establish a scholarship for junior counselors in Dan's name and may be mailed to Coburn Funeral Home at 24 West Howard Street, Colfax, Iowa 50054 Attn; Dan Newton Family. Condolences also may be left at www.coburnfuneralhomes.com
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I met Dan working at Boys State as myself and my family along with DMACC ICI program have provided the food. So seeing him in the mess halls for the different meals he was always so nice to talk to and easy to talk to. There were a couple of times I ran into him in town when it wasn’t Boys State and they was fun to catch up with him. So sorry for your loss!
Mary, I am so sorry to hear about Dan. My sympathy goes out to you, Sarah, Brian, and Kevin and the rest of your family. May you find peace and comfort in the days ahead. Carol Macksey
My deepest sympathies to you and your family at this time of your loss. May the Lord give you Peace. 🌈
To the Newton family: I’m so sorry to hear of Dan’s passing. I had gotten to know him during his years at Walmart and always enjoyed his smile and helpful manner. We’d always take a moment and catch up on each other’s kids. I hope that family memories help as you all navigate this difficult time. My sincere condolences and prayers to your family. Lorraine Kalkhoff
I was shocked and saddened to hear of Dan's death. He was always so sweet and helpful when i visited the pharmacy. He will be missed.
I was saddened to hear of Dan’s passing. It has been such a pleasure to have worked with Dan at Boys State during his 41 years with the program. Although Dan had the opportunity to take on a different role in the program, he always wanted to be a city counselor, working directly with his group of young men. I’m sure those young men left remembering not only the program, but the kindness and the caring nature of the man that led them through their week. Our program will miss him dearly. I also remember seeing Dan in the bleachers supporting the teams at Newton High School basketball games when I would be there to referee. He was always wonderfully supportive of young people. To Dan’s family, my deepest sympathy on your loss.
Dan was very nice man. I remember him working at Walmart. He always had a smile on his face. Will miss him.
I consider myself fortunate to have known and worked with Dan for many, many years at American Legion Hawkeye Boys State. I count myself lucky to have counted Dan as a friend. Any time there was a problem or an issue that involved a Boys Stater, one could ALWAYS count on Dan's quiet, steady patience and guidance in finding the best solution. He always had a cheery smile and a positive attitude. Dan will be greatly missed by all of us counselors who enjoyed working with him and knew him well. My deepest sympathy goes out to his wife and children as they mourn his loss. I guess that God just wanted him more than we did! May God provide all of you peace and comfort!
Aaron Schmidt, ALBS 46 year counselor
I knew Dan from Boys State. He did such a good job there and everyone liked him, including the boys he dealt with. I am sorry to not be able to see him there in future years. He was a nice un-imposing gentle man.
My thoughts go to his wife, 3 sons and remaining family members.
I was privileged to know Dan and his fine family through the clinic, hospital, church, and community and saw his positive impact in all these arenas. In addition,Dan was the Boys State counselor for my son, Brian, in 2003 in the midst of his incredible string of consecutive years of service to the American Legion.
We pray for the comfort of Mary, and family and friends across our state who will dearly miss him
Dr. Paul Ruggle and family
I worked so many years with Dan at Skiff and enjoyed him so much. He helped my patients with many of their questions about their heart meds and I enjoyed visiting and walking with him on our walking program at lunch. So kind. Remembered everyone. He will be missed. Prayers for Mary and the kids from Nancy and Bob Steingreaber
Dan was one of my favorite people to work and visit with at Boys State. He was a true gentleman in every way. His concern for others was a real honor to watch. I have been blessed to know him during my 20 years at Hawkeye Boys State. Please know that our family will keep you all in our hearts and prayers. Kraig Emick
Dan was one the kindest, most dedicated people I've ever met. Dan was the longest serving city counselor at Boys State and I had the pleasure of working with him there from 2005-2019. Blessings and condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.
Mary, I am so sorry to hear of Dan’s passing. I have many fond memories of him at family gatherings, and remember him as always smiling, or laughing at some joke. There were so many laughs when we all got together! You and the children are in my prayers. Sending you love and light.
I remember Dan from our College if Pharmacy days. He was a classy classmate of mine. Sorry to hear of his passing.
To Dan’s family- I am a cousin of Dan’s. His grandmother and my father Charles Bastow shared a birthday. Aunt Grace was always so proud of her children and grandchildren. So sorry to hear this. We will light a candle after mass in his memory. Prayers for you all as he makes his celestial transfer.
I am so sorry to hear of Dan's passing. My memories of Mary, Brian and Kevin are strong and I know you will miss your husband and father every day. May your memories and the love you share sustain you and give you peace. Linda Bryant, piano teacher!
Dan will be missed by all of us at Boys State, he was a leader and inspiration to all who knew him. The Lord be with you, Dan!
We are keeping the entire family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Treasure all the wonderful memories.
Dennis & Charlene Noring
I had the pleasure of working with Dan when he worked at Walmart. And later, would see him on occasional lunches with family at Uncle Nancy's Coffeehouse. He is a great man and will be missed by all. Prayers to his family.
Mark and Marybeth Wagner are very sorry to hear about Dan. He and his family are in our thoughts and prayers.
I worked with Dan at Walmart. He would fill in at the Marshalltown store when I was working there. Dan was always cheerful and calm through all the chaos around us. I was always happy when he was coming to help us. I am sad to think I won't be able to hear his chuckle when I would talk to him at another store.
Alice Tibben, RPh Ames, IA
Our hearts go out to the Newton family. Our children grew up together. Dan was always kind and generous with his time and words.
I was fortunate to work with Dan for lots of years at Skiff. Gentle soul with a beautiful heart. Then was lucky enough to be a neighbor and enjoyed seeing him on my walk or bike ride. Sweet Love and prayers to his family, you were truly blessed!❤️
Im so sorry for your loss. I loved dan . He would work in marshalltown wal mart . We always had fun. A really great man. Always talked about his family .full of love. Dan the man we kidded him . Hugs to you. Prayers for your family . Sue
So sorry to hear of Dans passing. I worked along side Dan at the Marshalltown WalMart Pharmacy and there was never a dull moment because he always had a pun or joke for everyone! I was truly blessed to know him. RIP Dan.
Sincerely, Kelly Gates
Sending prayers for strength to the family through this difficult time. Dan will be missed by many.
Mary and family, sending hugs and strength. Much love, the Wheatcrafts
So sorry to hear this, Mary. Dan never missed speaking when I was at the pharmacy at Walmart. Always had a smile. Prayers coming your way.
Dan was a quiet gentleman and I enjoyed working with him at Skiff. His vast knowledge in the pharmacy was valued and respected. Prayers to you Mary and you and your family are in my thoughts. Lori Ward
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Colfax, Iowa 50054
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