Newton Oliver Peschel was born in New Ulm Sept. 4, 1919 on his mother’s birthday. He was one of five children born to Ben and Hertha Peschel. He passed away Oct. 31 at Trucare Living Center in Columbus, having lived an incredible 100 years filled with love, adventure and kindness.
Newton was a true Texan. In his early years the family moved from New Ulm, to Lubbock and then to Fayetteville. After his schooling took him through the seventh grade, he moved to Rosenberg to live with family. At the age of 16, he went to work for Sugarland Industries as a blacksmith.
Newton’s life was one of service, leadership and commitment. On Jan. 9, 1940, he enlisted in the Army. His tour of duty was at Ft. Benning Georgia at Parachute School and at Ft. Devens Massachusetts in the First Infantry Division (The Big Red One). Newton was assigned to the Company C 503rd Parachute Combat Team under direct command of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. After action in New Guinea and the Islands, his unit made the combat jump to recapture Corregidor. On Oct. 9, 1945 Newton was honorably discharged receiving two purple hearts and a bronze star. He was also honored to have served as an honor guard for Franklin Roosevelt and had dinner with Eleanor. Like many men of his generation, his service to the country defined his youth and laid the groundwork for a life of service and caring.
He married the love of his life, Annie Lee Blezinger, Dec. 24, 1945. They bought the Blezinger family farm in Industry. In October 1946, their only child, Barbara, was born. To provide for his family, Newton did house moving and was well known for his carpentry work. He attended a Veteran Ag School and together they farmed corn, cotton and made hay and raised a variety of livestock. Beside house building, he did restoration work on Stagecoach Inn at Winedale and work for the “The First Lady of Texas,” Ima Hogg. Before retiring, he worked at Festival Hill in Round Top, where he and his crew did some beautiful building and carpentry work. He also had the opportunity to demonstrate how to make furniture with a foot treadle wood lathe at the Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio. But it was not all work, he and Annie Lee loved going to Montana to see her sister and brother-in-law where they would fish and hunt. Newton loved his family, especially his grandkids and great grandkids, always wanting to hear what they were doing.
Newton was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith where he served in various offices and on the church council. Church was very important to him and he rarely missed a service and read his Bible faithfully.
Newton was one of the charter members of the Industry West End Lions Club where he served as Charter President and as President, Lions International Director, Director of the Eye Bank and the Melvin Jones Fellow. He was honored to receive the “Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award” and in 2019, the Industry West End Lions Club honored him with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his service to the Lions Club and his community. He served as a lifeline call responder to shut-ins. Newton volunteered for the HOA Meals on Wheels Program from its inception and delivered meals for 20 years till the age of 90 when he retired, saying he often delivered meals to people younger than he. Newton worked tirelessly at the parks in New Ulm and Industry. His was a life well lived. May he rest in peace.
Newton was preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Hertha Peschel; beloved wife Annie Lee; brother Lloyd Peschel and wife Hertha; sisters Daniella Peschel and husband Delmus; Lucille Ainsworth and husband Jesse; and brother-in-law Raymond Macik.
Newton is survived by his daughter Barbara and son-in-law Danny Kautz of Columbus; Grandsons Jerrod Gross and wife Lena of La Grange, Jason Kautz and girlfriend Laura Charlton of Austin and granddaughter Kim King and husband Ron of Midlothian; great-grandchildren Jessica Gross, Elizabeth King, and Chip King. He is survived by his baby sister Virginia Macik of Rosenberg, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Pastor John Sutton and his church family and all of Newton’s friends and family for their love, thoughtfulness, support and prayers. A special thank you to Hubert and Melanie Yoist for visiting Newton almost every week and bringing joy to his life. Thank you to the staff at Trucare Living Center and especially Jacquelyn Smith for their care and attention. Thank you to Dr. Bart Klaus, the Columbus Hospital staff, and Compassionate Care Hospice for their kindness and care. May God bless all of you.
Visitation was Saturday, Nov. 2 at Henneke Funeral Home in Columbus, and at Welcome Lutheran Church Sunday. Funeral services were Sunday, Nov. 3 at Welcome Lutheran Church in Welcome, with Pastor John Sutton officiating. Burial followed at Pilgrims Rest Cemetery in Industry.
Pallbearers were Jason Kautz, Jerrod Gross, Ron King, Chip King, Gary (Buzz) Holht and Dennis Peschel. Honorary pallbearers were Lloyd Galle, Larry Uhlig, Hubert Yoist, Gary Fritsch, Larry Birkelbach, Scott Blezinger, Industry West End Lions Club and Shelby American Legion.
Memorials may be given to Welcome Lutheran Church, 13636 FM 109, Brenham, TX. or Amedisys Foundation, Compassionate Care Hospice, 540 W. Main, Bellville, TX.
Online condolences may be given to the family at www.hennekefuneralhome.com.