Charlotte Irene (Helscher) Newton, 97, was born to Sylvia Melvina (Zigler) Helscher and Thomas Adolph Helscher on October 18, 1917 on a farm near Paradise, Kansas. She passed away on February 21, 2015 at Warrensburg, MO.
Charlotte attended school in Paradise where she graduated from high school. She attended Fort Hays State University for a short time. She married Loyal Lee (Jim) Newton on August 12, 1939. Charlotte was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years in 1993. She was also preceded in death by her parents, her brother Bryan Helscher, and his wife Louise. She is survived by her children Dr. Thomas A. Newton and his wife Jane of Tahlequah, OK, Crystal A. Green of Warrensburg, MO, and Michael E. Newton and his wife Diana of Wichita, KS. Also surviving are grandchildren Shelly Parr, Jim Green, Brooks Newton, Julie Newton, and Sarah Brown as well as six great-grandchildren: Tyler Parr, Haley Parr, Jackson Green, Noah Green, Griffin Newton, and Thurston Brown.
Charlotte and her family lived in several Kansas communities during the years that Jim was employed as an oilfield pumper. They spent a number of years in Russell, Natoma, Wellington, Stafford, Preston, Pratt before coming back to Russell for retirement. During those years as a full-time homemaker, Charlotte kept the family fed with her wholesome down-home recipes as well as with goodly portions of moral instruction, creative spirit, and self-deprecating humor.
Charlotte taught her children that honesty and compassion for all creatures are essential human qualities. She also modeled her passion for the creative spirit through her own works of art and her enduring memory of hundreds of songs and poems from her school years. Through the years and into her 90s, she would break into a poem or song when the topic of a conversation reminded her of a particular lyric. As a young woman, Charlotte created beautiful works of sculpture, songs, and poetry. She and Jim kept the family in stitches with their humor and on-going word play. Often the humor was based on double entendre, misunderstandings that were quickly exploited for their bizarre implications, and Charlotte’s ability to laugh at her own foibles. Charlotte continued the art of story-telling that her parents were known for. She told hundreds of stories centering on humorous anecdotes or unique character traits of her relatives or others from the small Kansas towns along the Lincoln Branch of the Union Pacific: Lincoln Center, Lucas, Luray, Waldo, Paradise, Natoma, and Plainville. She told these stories so well and so often that the characters and the anecdotes have become part of the family heritage.
Charlotte’s children will remember her fiercely independent spirit, her unwillingness to accept injustice, her disregard for superstitious beliefs, her love of art, language, story-telling, and her sense of humor.
A graveside service to celebrate Charlotte's life will be held at 11:30 A.M. on Friday, February 27, 2015, at the Natoma City Cemetery. Visitation will be from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. on Thursday, February 26, 2015, at the mortuary in Russell. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell is in charge of the funeral service arrangements.