Obituary: Stephanie Ann Todd Newlon
Innovative teacher, devoted grandmother
Stephanie Ann Todd Newlon, a longtime Claremont resident, died on Sunday, May 15, 2016. She was 70.
She was born on March 18, 1946 in Boonville, Missouri to William M. Todd and Dorotha Florence Odil Todd. She lived in Boonville until the age of 4, when her family moved out west to California. She had a sister, Penni-Lu, who is one year younger, and a brother, Timothy William, who is four years younger. The family settled in Claremont in 1950.
Young Stephanie attended Claremont elementary schools, El Roble Intermediate School and Claremont High School, where she excelled as a straight-A student. With her father, she rode and showed Tennessee Walking horses and owned a champion show horse named “Go Miss Stately,” of whom she was very proud. She attended college at the University of Redlands and graduated from the University of La Verne with a bachelor’s degree and a teaching credential.
In 1965, she met Brint Newlon in a Shakespeare class at ULV. They married on November 19, 1967. They had one son, Robb, in 1968 and then twin girls, Ashley and Allison, in 1972. Mrs. Newlon launched the kindergarten program at Covina First Baptist Preschool in 1977. She taught kindergarten there for 10 years and then taught second grade at Vine Elementary School in West Covina until her retirement in 2008, collectively teaching more than 30 years.
Teaching was her passion, which was truly evident if you ever walked into her classroom. Mrs. Newlon has blessed hundreds of students with her innovative and creative teaching methods, demonstrated by carefully planned dinosaur digs and dressing up as her favorite book characters. Before it was even popular, she recognized that there were different styles of learners, and she treated every student as an individual with individual needs. She will be remembered as a compassionate, caring and loving teacher.
Mrs. Newlon co-authored two books for Scholastic, Reading Response Activities and Quick and Creative Literature Response Activities, and traveled throughout California sharing her ideas and lessons at conferences. She was awarded Teacher of the Year for West Covina Unified School District in 1990-1991. In addition to all her professional accomplishments, her greatest desire was to be a mother, which she did very well. She was also an amazing grandmother and spent nearly every day with her grandchildren.
In her retirement, Mrs. Newlon enjoyed volunteering at her grandchildren’s school, Condit Elementary, crafting and spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren. She loved the ocean and enjoyed vacationing at the beach with her family.
Stephanie and Brint were married nearly 49 years. They were the best of friends and rarely spent time apart. Throughout Stephanie’s illness, she always remained positive and she never complained.
“Stephanie truly exemplified what it meant to be a loving spouse, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and aunt,” her loved ones shared. “She taught her family many very important life lessons, two of which were don’t sweat the small stuff and to cherish family and friends. She will be deeply missed.”
Her mother, Dorotha Ellis, died just eight days after Stephanie died. She is survived by her husband, Brintnel R. Newlon IV; by her son, Brintnel R. Newlon V; by her daughter, Ashley Newlon-Trujillo, her husband David and their children Hannah and David; and by her daughter Allison Newlon Burton and her sons Cameron and Jake. She is also survived by her sister, Penni-Lu Todd Hansen, and her husband Ken, by her brother, Timothy Todd, and his wife Georgie, and by numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations in Stephanie’s name to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.