IN MEMORIAM: Willoughby Newton '56


The Rev.Willoughby Newton (Class of 1956) died on April 18, 2015, in New York City at the age of 90. Newton was a faithful son, friend, and servant of The General Theological Seminary. As a member of the leadership team in the late 1980s, he was instrumental in establishing the Chelsea Square Conservancy to maintain and protect the GTS Close, where The Willoughby Newton Fragrance Garden is named in his honor. Newton was born on April 8, 1925, in Orange, Virginia. Before finishing high school he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served for three years, being discharged on his 21st birthday. He graduated in three years from the University of Virginia, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He was awarded the Alfred I. DuPont Fellowship to attend Christ's College, Cambridge University, from which he received a B.A. and a M.A. In 1951 he began teaching at Kent School in Connecticut. He was ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church in 1955 and was ordained priest in 1956. He served briefly as rector of St. Andrew's Church, Marble Dale, Connecticut, and in 1960 he returned to Kent to become the first girls chaplain of Kent School.

In 1963 he helped in the refounding of Wykeham Rise School in Washington, Connecticut, and in 1964 the school reopened with Newton as headmaster. In 1976 he moved to New York City and in 1977 he was appointed Director of Institutional Development at WNET/Channel Thirteen. In 1987 he became Vice President of General, retiring in 1990. In 1981 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by St. Paul's College in Lawrenceville, Virginia. Over the years Newton served on the boards of various ecclesiastical, educational and civic organizations.

Newton is survived by his dear friend, Shastri Kedarnauth, eight nieces and nephews, their children and grandchildren and is said to have worked very hard at being the favorite uncle. He is also survived by many friends, for whose friendship he was always grateful, and of which he was properly proud. His funeral service will be held on May 23 at his final resting place, Yeocomico Church, Cople Parish, 1233 Old Yeocomico Road, Kinsale, Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made either to the Frederick and Kathleen Newton Family Fund of Cople Parish, P.O. Box 110, Hague, Virginia 22469 or to Chelsea Square Conservancy, The General Theological Seminary, 440 West 21st Street, New York, NY 10011 to support the Willoughby Newton Fragrance Garden.