Richard (Rick) Thomas Newton, 61, lost his 16-year battle with congestive heart failure at his Hillsboro, Oregon, residence on Friday, April 3, 2015, surrounded by his family and closest friends.
Rick was born May 12, 1953, in Long Beach, CA to Thomas and (Mary) Phylis Newton. He was the only child for this couple, but the third son for Phylis, joining Roger and Gerald (Jerry) Wetle.
In his childhood, Rick went to the movies nearly every weekend, and this set the stage for not only his lifelong love of films, but his primary career as an audio technician in theaters from coast to coast.
Rick attended Benson High School in Portland, OR, and in the summer of 1970, he and his life-long friend Larry Loose joined the Marine Corps together. Since he had missed graduation by one credit, Rick obtained his GED in 1971.
On January 7, 1973, Rick and Cheryll Lynn Stafford were married in Anaheim, CA, while he was assigned to El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. Shortly thereafter, he did a 13-month tour of duty in Japan, right at the end of the Vietnam conflict. He specialized in airplane electronics.
After sustaining an injury to his L5 disk, Rick was not allowed to reenlist in the Marine Corps, after his first 6 1/2 years. Nevertheless, Rick was proud of his service, and continued to honor the Code of the Corps his whole life: Semper Fi.
Rick and Cheri had four children: Eric Thomas in November, 1973, Laurindia Raylynn (Wendy) in January, 1977, Thomas Wayne in 1983, and Tanya Michelle in December, 1985.
In the early 1980s, Rick completed an Associate’s Degree in Electronic Engineering from Clackamas Community College. The family then moved to New Jersey, and Rick worked in New York City as an Audio Technician on many major film openings.
Rick’s work took him all over the country during the next two decades, from Arkansas to Denver, to LA and back to the east coast. The family was once again in New Jersey, and Rick was working in Manhattan, on the morning of 9/11/01. Cheri immediately insisted they return to Oregon—for good!
Remaining within the industry he loved so well, Rick owned and operated Cinema Interiors from 2002-2008. When he completed renovating the Venetian Theatre in Hillsboro, he was asked to stay on as the theatre’s sound and lighting technician, which he did from the summer of 2008 until 2014, when his declining health no longer allowed him to work.
Rick is survived by his brother Jerry (Peggy) Wetle, of Granbury, Texas; his four children: Eric (Rachel) Newton, Wendy Newton, Thomas (Lisa) Newton, and Tanya (Robert) Summerfield, all of the Hillsboro/Portland area; his grandchildren: Ashley, Josh, Cody, and Kaylynn; his great-grandchildren: Trenton and Austin; and his special friend, Jan Bono, of Long Beach, Washington.
Rick was predeceased by his wife Cheryll Lynn in February, 2010, and his brother Roger Wetle, in May, 2007.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Venetian Theatre in Hillsboro on Sunday, April 26, 2015, at 1:00. Interment will be at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland at noon on Monday, April 27. Rick was a true Marine to the end, and a Marine Corps Color Guard will be present to lay him to rest.