Nov. 5, 1959 — Mar. 9, 2014
Richard (Rick) Dean Newby was born Nov. 5, 1959, and passed away peacefully in his sleep Sunday morning, March 9, 2014, at his home in College Place. The cause of death was found to be complications from pre-existing cardiac arrhythmia. Rick was 54 years of age at the time of his death. He will be remembered as a much-loved and respected leader in the local community as well as a loving father and husband.
Rick’s journey began in Portland, where he was born to his loving parents, James Albert and Marilyn Ann Newby. He attended Prescott High School in Arizona starting in 1973, where he met his future wife of 34 years and mother of his five children, Barbara Walker. His family moved to Del Paso Heights, Calif., in 1975, where he graduated from Grant High School in the class of 1977 with honors. Some of his many high school achievements include: an award for outstanding journalism as editor of the school newspaper, The Trail Blazer, making the academic honor block, and an award for outstanding carpentry work. His passion for carpentry continued throughout his life until the time of his passing. During that time he honed his skills on many amazing projects for both family and friends that will be cherished for generations. A few of his other lifelong passions included gardening, public service, writing, mentoring, and his involvement with the church, which was most recently New Joy Foursquare Church, where he was much loved.
He began attending Warner Pacific College in Portland in 1978, where he became a mentor to his fellow students and made the dean’s list every year. Rick and Barbara Newby were married Aug. 12, 1979. Together they raised their three boys and two girls, who were born in 1989 to 1999. He graduated in 1983 with a business associate’s degree along with his mother, who received a bachelor of science in early childhood education.
He began his working life in high school doing sidewalk advertising for a shoe store as a “super hero” in Sacramento. He then worked as a programmer/computer technician in Portland while attending college. He continued his work as a computer technician at Whitman College in Walla Walla in 1986 before starting his career with Bonneville Power Administration in 1987. There he distinguished himself as an invaluable team member starting as a computer technician. He continued his tradition of excellence for more than 27 years with BPA and advanced to manager of field and support services.
Rick was a strong and passionate leader for the community of College Place and the Walla Walla Valley. He began his public service career as a member of the College Place City Planning Commission and was then elected to the City Council and the Walla Walla Valley Transit Board. In 2008 Rick was appointed mayor of College Place by the City Council to succeed previous Mayor Ed Ammon, who moved to Denver to accept a new job. Rick was elected to his first full term as mayor in 2009. Rick ran again for mayor in 2013 and was readily re-elected to another full term. He was very proud of the improvements that had occurred during his service to the community as mayor. He brought passion, experience, leadership and integrity to his community. He was well loved and it will be difficult to replace that passion for service.
Richard Dean Newby was preceded in death by his father, James Albert Newby Sr., in 1979. He is survived by his mother, Marilyn Ann Coulombe, 76; his step-father, Art Coulombe; his sister, Margaret Gail Robinson, 57; his brother, James Albert Newby II, 55; the mother of his children and the love of his life, Barbara Jean Newby, 55; the Newby children, David James, 24, Heather Ann, 21, Jonathan Evan, 18, Zachary Stephen, 16, and Faith Alexandria, 14; step-brothers, Dale, Duane and David Coulombe; step-sisters, Denise Johanson and Dawn Zeugen. Survivors also include many cousins, nieces, nephews and extended family. We will never forget his love and the impact he had on all our lives.
The open viewing was held Friday, March 14, 2014, from 4-7 p.m. at the Herring-Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder St. A memorial service that will be open to the public was held at the Blue Mountain Community Church, 928 Sturm St., at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15, 2014. A graveside service was held at the Blue Mountain Memorial Gardens, 300 N.E. Myra Road (across from Fort Walla Walla) immediately following the memorial and will also be open to any who wish to attend. Anyone who wishes to make a charitable donation on Rick’s behalf may do so through the Herring-Groseclose Funeral Home to a charity of their choice or to Rick’s church, New Joy Foursquare Church.
Rick Newby was a true servant to his fellow man, a respected public figure, true friend, devoted husband, loving son, and wonderful father. He has left a huge gap in so many lives that can never be filled. He will always be loved and missed by everyone who knew him, and we will cherish every memory of his laugh, his humor and his devotion to helping and listening to all of us. His strength will see us through. We love you Rick, dad, husband, son, brother.
“Behold God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the lord God is my strength and song, and He will become my salvation.” - Isaiah 12:2