Dr. Norris Lynn Newton, Sr., age 90 of Murfreesboro, TN passed away on July 13, 2021. He was born in Ada, OK to the late William “Dick” Newton and Laura Cozort Newton. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife, Rosa Mae Ihle Newton; and son, Norris Lynn Newton, Jr., M.D. He is survived by his children, Charles Anthony Newton Esq. and wife Jane Newton Esq. of The Woodlands, TX and Anna Bowden J.D., M.S.N. of Murfreesboro, TN; grandchildren, Nikolaus, Julianna, Mary, Mark, Charles, Patricia, and Rosa Mae; great-grandchildren, Jayden, Allianna, Abram, Amelia, Parker, Aileen, Kathryn, and Jonathan; and a sister, Karen Davenport.
As a young man, Dr. Newton grew up in Oklahoma, where much of his family lived. Granny Sullivan “Hattie” migrated to Oklahoma in a chuckwagon and operated a country store. His father was a farmer and horse rancher, and his mother a nurse. Dr. Newton, “Opa”, became an ophthalmologist, completing his residency at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University. He was a Major in the United States Air Force, Chief of Aerospace Medicine, and worked with the space program, helping to send the first chimp into space. He also helped to develop formulations needed for pilot safety from bomb radiation. Dr. Newton was instrumental in bringing cataract lens implantation surgery to the United States. Throughout his dedicated career, he always put patients first. He was known for doing whatever it took to provide care, from making midnight house calls during snowstorms to trading quilts and produce for services. He never turned a patient away and had a strong belief in service to others.
Dr. Newton enjoyed writing poetry, creating oil and watercolor paintings, and boating. He had a lifelong devotion to animal rescue and rehabilitation, including running a simian and avian sanctuary. Most of all, he loved spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. When he spoke of his life accomplishments, the greatest of these were his family.
A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 6:00 PM at Woodfin Memorial Chapel. Burial with military honors will be on Friday, July 23, 2021 at 4:00 PM at Lynchburg City Cemetery, Lynchburg, TN.