Fri Apr 3rd, 2015
The Southern Ute Drum
Categories: Top Stories
It’s been one year since the late Chairman Jimmy R. Newton Jr., passed away. Family, friends and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe came together on a warm spring afternoon Friday, March 27 to remember the young leader.
The remembrances began with a greeting and thank you from Elaine Newton, Chairman Newton’s mother.
“We are here to celebrate his life … he’s done so much in the short time he was with us. Though he’s not here, his spirit lives on,” she said. “Thank you all for being here today, and thank you Tribal Council for putting this together.”
Elaine Newton reminisced about her son before the crowd offering a look into Jimmy’s life from a mother’s perspective. She mentioned his humor, his accomplishments and his love for children.
“He always loved children, he was so loving,” she said.
She also talked about some of his tactics that made him a unique leader.
Going into Tribal Council can be intimidating, but he always wanted everyone to feel at ease, she said.
“He would always start council meetings off with a joke,” she said. “Just to break the ice.”
In his honor, she told her own joke to the crowd.
In order to keep the late chairman’s vision going, Elaine Newton said the family would be starting a foundation in the late chairman’s name, “Jimmy R. Newton Jr. Emerging Leadership Awards”. The foundation will recognize young people in the community who are emerging as leaders, she said.
“If you believed in his vision that no youth was left behind, then we ask that you support and donate whatever you feel you can do,” she said.
The Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council will also be hosting a Jimmy R. Newton Jr. Youth Leadership Conference Saturday, May 16 that is open to all youth in the community. The annual conference is in remembrance of Chairman Newton and all the work he did for the youth.
Tribal Councilmembers were also in attendance and spoke about what they remember about the late chairman.
“We have to strive to keep Jim’s vision alive,” Council lady Amy J. Barry said. “I’m very active in that role with the youth.”
Expressing his respect for the late chairman, Councilman Alex S. Cloud said, “Jim was all about the people.”
“He was a good man, husband, son and a good leader.” Cloud said. “And he was a big Bronco fan,” he said pointing to his Bronco shirt.
Tribal Chairman Clement J. Frost described the importance of remembering the “good things.”
“He enjoyed the life he lived, and he enjoyed all you people,” Frost said. “We have gained a lot through his leadership.”
The ceremony ended with everyone releasing a balloon in memory of the late Chairman Jimmy R. Newton Jr. who passed away March 31, 2014.
“Live for knowledge and always know where you come from,” motto of Jimmy R. Newton Jr.”