Frank D. Newton was called Home by his Savior on July 19, 2017, in San Angelo, Texas. Waiting to welcome him in a joyous reunion was his beloved wife, Carolyn, and his oldest son, Billy Frank.
Frank was born December 29, 1929, in a little farmhouse, to Willard and Gussie Newton, in Coryell County, Texas. Times were hard, and the country doctor assisting with delivery received chickens as payment. Frank was the baby of the family, with three older brothers and one sister to guide him through life on the farm, as they worked hard to make ends meet during the Depression years.
Frank was taught the value of hard work very early in life. He was given plenty of responsibility, which included driving a mule team at the age of five. That work ethic stayed with Frank for the rest of his life. He was committed to his job, always, and made sure it was done right.
During his elementary school years, Frank attended country schools in Purmela and Plainview, forming friendships that lasted a lifetime. He attended high school in Gatesville, proudly playing football, basketball, and running track for the Gatesville Hornets. Frank also served as president of the FFA his senior year. When Frank was a junior, a lovely blond sophomore with sparkling blue eyes captured his heart. Frank married his high school sweetheart, Carolyn Blankenship, in 1948, and they spent a lifetime together raising a family as Frank pursued his career.
In 1951, Frank was hired by Halliburton Oil Services as a mechanic. Leaving family, and the home they had always known, Frank and Carolyn moved to West Texas and embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. Their growing family was on the move over the years, throughout southeastern New Mexico and West Texas, including the booming oilfield towns of McCamey, Rankin, Goldsmith, and Odessa, Texas. In New Mexico, Frank worked in Lovington and Artesia. Lifelong friendships were formed with the close knit extended Halliburton family. Frank excelled, working his way up the ranks, and ultimately became a District Superintendent before retirement in 1986, in Big Spring, Texas, after 36 years of service.
After retirement, while living in Big Spring, Frank worked for Napa Auto Parts, delivering tools throughout West Texas. Later, Frank worked for Shroyer Motor Company, delivering vehicles. These jobs were a perfect fit for Frank, because he loved driving down the highway on a job, knowing that he could be counted on for a job well done.
For many years after retirement, Frank enjoyed spending time with his “Tractor Buddies”, a great group of men that enjoyed traveling throughout Texas to attend antique tractor shows, fairs, and parades. You can bet that Frank knew the make and model of every tractor at the event. He took many photos to document these events, and loved every minute spent with these terrific men.
Frank loved life-busy and on the go. He was always ready to enjoy a cold beer, tell a good story, or zip down the highway on an adventure. His zeal for life made his family grin. He was hard to keep up with!
Family members preceding Frank in death are his wife, Carolyn; his parents, Willard Newton and Gussie Dooley Newton; brothers, Robert, Nelson, and Lawrence; his sister, Mary Koch; his son, Billy Frank; and his grandson, John Frank.
Surviving family members include daughters Nancy Sallee, and husband, David of Las Cruces, New Mexico; Laurie, and husband Jim of San Angelo; son Chris of Big Spring; and daughter-in-law, Sherry Newton of Dallas.
Grandchildren include Kevin Roberts, Erika Pettit, Kent Sallee, Reid Franklin, and Conner Franklin, and five great-grandchildren.
Graveside services are planned for Monday, July 24 at 1:30 pm in Restland Cemetery in Gatesville, Texas.