Kenneth F. Newton, 97, of Chillicothe passed 5 a.m. Thursday, January 26, 2023 at ARMC in Greenfield.
He was born to Fred and Goldie Markel Newton on May 30, 1925 in Highland County. On December 3, 1949 he married Esther L. Hammond. She preceded him in death on January 22, 2020. They enjoyed 70 years of marriage.
Surviving are son, Kenneth and daughter-in- law, Patricia Newton; granddaughter, Brooke (Alex) Maranzana; great grandchildren, Gabriella and Brian Maranzana; several nephews and nieces. He had a special place in his heart for his caretaker, Angie Alexander, who has been by his side for several years. He was predeceased by brothers, Donald and Robert; sister, Ruth; and his only grandson, Brian Newton.
Kenneth joined the Navy shortly after the beginning of WWII at age 17. He was assigned to the USS Destroyer Caldwell and was stationed primarily in the Pacific Theater. At 19, he was a supervisor of the forward gun crew under the bridge of the ship. The ship was attacked by a kamikaze plane on 12/12/1944, hitting the cannon directly below the ship bridge. It was an obvious target. He manned a machine gun trying to stop the plane, but with no success. He watched as the plane closed in on the ship. Thirty- three of the ship’s crew of 120 were killed while 40 additional were wounded. Despite the heavy damage, the Caldwell continued to fire its rear cannons while Kenneth joined a fire control party working to save the ship.
After the end of WWII, he returned home, married and had a child and began work at the Chillicothe Veteran Administration Hospital. He returned to Navy service during the Korean War. He resumed his career at the VA Hospital after returning from Korea and worked at the hospital until his retirement.
He was a member of the Elks and American Legion, and an avid sportsman who love to hunt, fish and travel.
The family thanks the Adena hospice group as well as the hospice staff at Adena Greenfield for their compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that you take a few minutes to think of your freedom, the men and women who have sacrificed for it, and thank a Veteran for their service.
A private service will be held for the immediate family. Burial will be in St. Margaret Cemetery with military graveside rites given by the Ross County Veterans Honor Guard.
Arrangements are under the direction of the WARE FUNERAL HOME.
You may sign his online register at www.warefh.com
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