Loss of Newton will leave a void

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 14, 2004

One of the most wonderful things about living in our fair city is its people, their selflessness and the caring they show to others who happen to sometimes be total strangers.

This newspaper, on numerous occasions, has published letters to the editor from wayward travelers who, while traveling down Interstate 65, have fallen on hard times. Whether it was a flat tire or some other calamity, they are astounded by the faithfulness of our city residents and the caring we show in times of need.

Think about it for a moment. In this hurried day and time when we all travel at light speed from one objective to another, what would it take for you to sit down and write a letter to a newspaper that is not in your hometown, and most of the time not in your state, praising the kindness of strangers? The fact that they do tells us something; that we have a wonderful community made up of caring people who genuinely want to improve the lives of others, whether they're neighbors or total strangers.

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Well, one of Greenville's finest passed away this week with the death of Jim Newton. Being the hometown newspaper we often see people who want tribute paid to them for their good deeds, or what they consider to be their good deeds. Not Jim Newton.

Jim was the type of individual that was rarely seen and rarely heard from, but contributed mightily to making our city a fine place to live.

Whether it was working behind the scenes of the Greenville Arts Council to make sure the bills got paid or simply handing out sage advice to those that had the opportunity to know him, Newton was a model for us all to follow and he will be greatly missed.

His passing leads a void in our community and we encourage others to continue Newton's work by selflessly giving of themselves to keep our city a model for those who would visit us and those who would choose us to live their lives in and raise their families.

Our hearts go out to the Newton family and we hope the sorrow that you feel is warmed a bit by the knowledge that Jim was indeed a fine, southern gentleman who did not seek personal reward, but who only sought the reward of personal satisfaction by helping improve the lot of those around him.