THOMSON, Ga. - Mr. R. Newton Wilcox, 70, of Thomson and Evans, died on December 15, 2008, at Select Specialty Hospital in Augusta.
A memorial service was celebrated at Thomson Presbyterian Church at 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 18, 2008, with the Rev. John Cook officiating.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. C. R. and Amzie Newton Wilcox; a brother, Dr. C. R. Wilcox, Jr. (Bub) and a nephew, Kirk Smith.
Newton was born in Rome, Ga., on February 14, 1938. He graduated from Darlington School in Rome, Ga., and attended Mercer University, King College and graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. From 1965 until 1969, Newton served his country in the U.S. Army. He followed the leadership of his grandfather, Ralph Newton, a former superintendent of Waycross, Ga., school system and his father, Rothwell Wilcox, a former President of Darlington School, in the education field as a teacher for more than 35 years. He taught math, history and social studies in the following schools: During college and for a short time thereafter he coached tennis at Thornwood School, now a part of Darlington School; South Rome Elementary, Rome City Schools, 1969-1971; Southeast Elementary, Rome City Schools, 1971-1972; Southwood School, a private school in Waycross, Ga., 1972-1976; Manor Elementary, Waycross City Schools, 1976-1978; McDonald Street Elementary, Waycross City Schools, 1978-1979; Norris Middle School, McDuffie County, Thomson, 1979-1984; Sego Middle School, Richmond County, Augusta, 1984-1986; and he found his home at Columbia Middle School, Columbia County, 1986-2006. At Columbia Middle, he is fondly remembered as an outstanding history teacher, teaching with enthusiasm, making his students aware of important facets of history and instilling within them a love for their country and its heritage. Newton has made his home in Thomson for the last 27 years. Thomson Presbyterian Church was an important part of his life as he was a deacon and involved with a weekly Men's Bible Study. After his illness in 2006, he made his home at Brandon Wilde in Evans. During the past fall he was actively substituting at Columbia Middle School and enjoying once again challenging his students to reach their highest potential. He was passionately interested in genealogy, publishing some material on the subject and was a leader within his family searching for lost relatives.
He is survived by sisters, Elizabeth Gray Wilcox, Rome, Georgia and Jane Wilcox Smith (husband, Doug), Cumming, Ga.; nephews, Gray Smith (wife Kelley), Cumming, Ga., Louis Wilcox, Jacksonville, Fla., (wife Ann and children, Louis, Jr., Ramsey, Price and Wesley) William Rothwell Wilcox, Rome, Ga., (wife Tami and children Claire and Roth); niece, Amzie Catherine Wilcox Reese, Rome, Ga., (husband, Hollis and children Hallie and Cate); first cousins: Beth Barnes Brown, Nashville, Tenn., (husband Bill and children Ley, Harriet, J. Mac and Hoffman) and Martha Julia Barnes Smith, Berkeley, California (husband Michael and son, David); and many devoted and deeply appreciated teaching colleagues and students.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be sent to Columbia Middle School, 6000 Columbia Road, Grovetown, Georgia 30813.
Elliott Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.