Obituaries » Warren Newell
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No service will be held. A memorial visitation will take place on Friday, June 30, 2023 from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m. at Joldersma & Klein Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be given in Warren’s memory to Phantom Regiment or WMU Center for Disability Services.
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Age 78, died June 24, 2023. Warren was born in Kalamazoo, Mich., on February 4, 1945, to the late Vern S. and Mary A. (Podboyec) Newell. An excellent clarinetist, he graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1963 and then earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Western Michigan University in 1967. He spent his entire teaching career at Otsego Public Schools, proudly leading the middle school band program, and assisting with the high school bands, until his retirement in 1994. The Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association honored him as its Teacher of the Year in 1994. He forged close relationships with his band director colleagues at Otsego – Richard Swinsick, James Hewitt and Gregory Maynard – that he maintained until their deaths, as well as with his choir counterpart, Richard Hintz. Additionally, he continued friendships from his teenage years until his death with Don Sherman of Evart, Randy Wiseman of Trenton and Richard Anderson of Mattawan. He was also proud of his attendance record while teaching, missing only a single half-day (when bronchitis got the best of him) in his first 20 years. He was an avid sports fan from childhood of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions. He grew up playing sports card games and later Strat-O-Matic baseball. He continued to play Strat-o-Matic with his brother in a league until they were in their 70s. For many years, they produced a monthly publication, Strat-O-Matic Review, with a national subscriber base. He was heavily involved in his children’s activities, attending his daughter’s volleyball matches throughout high school and college, and his son’s performances with Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. He loved telling his kids stories of growing up at “The Big House” on North Edwards Street in Kalamazoo and then on Long Lake in Scotts. On July 27, 1968, he married Karen V. Stewart, who preceded him in death on December 25, 2014. After retirement, the two of them enjoyed spending time on Long Lake (having built a house on the land where he grew up) and going out to dinner. He was a huge fan of Coney Island Hot Dogs and Bimbo’s Pizza in Kalamazoo, a love he passed on to his children. Surviving are children, Greg (Teresa) Newell of Seffner, Fla., and Gretchen (Shannon) Behimer of Loveland, Ohio; grandsons, Benjamin Behimer and William Behimer; brother, Delbert Newell; sister, Patty Newell; and brother-in-law, Bill (Gail) Stewart. No service will be held. A memorial visitation will take place on Friday, June 30, 2023 from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m. at Joldersma & Klein Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be given in Warren’s memory to Phantom Regiment or WMU Center for Disability Services.