Robert Newman, 61, Was a Veteran of U.S. Navy

Robert E. Newman, 61, of Suffield, Conn., died peacefully on Feb. 19 in Springfield. Born April 18, 1942 in St. Joseph, Mo., he was the son of Mildred (Meinema) Newman and the late Everett Newman.

Bob was the valedictorian of the class of 1960 at Central High School in St. Joseph, and he was appointed to the Naval Academy by U.S. Rep. William R. Hull Jr. of Missouri. Bob was graduated with honors with the Class of 1964. He was a member of the 24th Company and is remembered by his roommates and friends for his lean, lanky frame, which complemented a laid-back style and dry midwestern sense of humor and masked a strong analytical mind. After receiving his commission as an ensign and completing the nuclear training program, he was assigned to the USS George Washington Carver, SSBN 656. He made three patrols serving as communicator and E Division officer. Bob then returned to the nuclear training facility in Windsor, Conn., as an engineering duty officer. He resigned from the Navy in 1970.

Bob spent 30 years in the civilian nuclear division of Combustion Engineering Inc., including 13 years as president of ABB Combustion Engineering Nuclear Systems, before retiring in 2000. He was currently president of the Non Proliferation Trust Inc. in Washington, D.C. This is a nonprofit company that takes spent nuclear fuel from Asian countries for disposal in Russia with the proceeds used for nuclear waste cleanup and humanitarian programs in Russia.

Bob served for more than 10 years as chairman of the Suffield board of education. He was a member, deacon and teacher at the Second Baptist Church. An avid golfer, he was a member of the Suffield Country Club. He loved the Vineyard and spent many happy summer vacations there with his family, enjoying long days at the beach, lobster dinners and trips to the candy and ice cream store with his little girls. His last vacation there was for the wedding of his youngest daughter, Ellie, and Denis Petrov at the Grange Hall on July 6, 2002. It was a joyful celebration that he hosted with his typical enthusiasm for a good party and his love of people, especially his family.

A loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother and friend, he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Bob and his wife, Martha (Wagner) Newman, were married for 36 years. He is also survived by his mother, Mildred, of Corunna, Ontario, Canada, and three daughters; Ann Selvitelli and her husband, David, of Millis; Amy Newman of Suffield, and Ellen Petrov and her husband, Denis of Dedham. Bob leaves two grandsons, Nicholas Selvitelli and Mikhail Petrov. He had two brothers, Jon Newman, who with his wife, Carolyn, lives in Bright's Grove, Ontario, Canada, and David Newman, who with his wife, Marilyn, lives in Keller, Tex.

Funeral services were held Feb. 23 at Second Baptist Church, 100 N. Main street, Suffield. Interment was with military honors in Woodlawn Cemetery, Suffield. Memorial donations may be made to The Jimmy Fund, 375 Longwood avenue, Boston, MA 02215-5328.