John Newman Obituary (2022) – Madison, WI


Newman, John B.

MADISON – John B. Newman passed away peacefully on Monday, December 20, 2021, at the age of 87. He was born April 16, 1934 in Lancaster, Wisconsin, but spent his childhood in Fennimore and Platteville. He graduated from Platteville High School in 1952, and soon after enlisted in the US Air Force. John was posted to England, but before leaving he married his high school girlfriend, Joy McNett, on Boxing Day in 1953. She then joined him in England, where they lived for three years and had two sons.

After serving his country, John returned to Platteville and, with the help of GI Bill, attended UW-Platteville, where he earned a BS in Education. He went on to earn two master’s degrees at UW-Madison, in teaching programs and in library science. John had a deep love for teaching and spent 30 years with the Madison Metropolitan School District, first at Frank Allis, then at Sennett, at Lycée La Follette (where he also coached swimming, diving and tennis ) and Lindbergh Elementary School.

John had an adventurous spirit and loved the outdoors. Summers were filled with canoeing down Wisconsin’s rivers with family and friends, biking, playing tennis or playing golf. In winter, it was found on the slopes. Skiing was his greatest passion, and he and Joy traveled to Europe, Alaska and the Rockies with the Madison Ski Club. John also had a creative side and became an accomplished woodcarver with the unique ability to see the final work in a piece of wood. He was a founding member of the Capital Area Carvers of Wisconsin and received their 2015 Carver Emeritus Award. Despite having a stroke nine years ago, he never lost his sense of curiosity or his passion for learning. Her strength and determination remain a source of inspiration.

John was a member of Masonic Melody Lodge No. 2 in Platteville for 65 years, becoming a 32nd degree Mason. He was also a Zor Shriner, serving on the camel patrol, then bagpipes and drums, each for 10 years.

John’s love for life and adventure was contagious, and he will be sadly missed by his family and friends.

John is survived by Joy, his wife of 68 years; children, Kevin, Santa Monica, CA, Steven (Cecilia), San Jose, CA, and Amy (Mike) Miller, New York, NY; and grandchildren, Benjamin, Lucas and Ryan Grace. He was predeceased by his parents, Grace and Lavern Newman.

A memorial service will be held at MONONA UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 606 Nichols Road, Monona, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 8, 2022, with tours starting at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to a charity of your choice or to Monona United Methodist Church, where he and Joy have been active members since 1962. Online condolences can be made at

Gunderson East

Funeral care and cremation

5203 Monona Drive

(608) 221-5420

Posted by on Jan 2, 2022.


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