Bob Newman, 1942-2007
Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Coorado
Bob Newman, owner of New Electric, died in Denver of lung cancer early on the morning of Nov. 7.. He was 65.
A memorial service will be at noon, Saturday, at the top of Beard Creek Road in Edwards. Follow the black bows to the location. Wear sturdy boots or shoes and weather appropriate outdoor wear. A potluck gathering will follow at the Newman family home.
“Bob was passionate, bold, generous, inspiring, fun loving and thoughtful, and he was an ‘acquired taste,'” said longtime New Electric employees Beth Smart, Jay VanVoorst Gary Wright and Lynne Wright. “New Electric was Bob’s baby. As many employees knew, Bob was there for them, whether it was loaning money or helping with an important decision. He even let office employees bring their dogs to work. A straightforward man, you always knew where you stood with Bob.”
Newman and Ed Bennett, his partner of 25 years, mentored hundreds of local electricians, as more than 1,000 employees have worked at New Electric since company was established in 1971.
“Bob was a hard-working man, who would rather work than play,” Bennett said. “He was a very generous person who would help out any way he could if you were in trouble.”
Bob Lazier, Newman’s good friend and partner of 35 years in Dowd Development, echoed those sentiments.
“Bob’s honesty and commitment to work was beyond compare,” said Lazier. “He wasn’t just an employer, but was genuinely appreciative of his employees and conscientiously concerned about their lives.”
Born June 26, 1942, in Detroit, Mich., Newman served as a young man in the U.S. Navy. He moved to Eagle County in 1968 with his wife Gail.
Newman enjoyed the outdoors, and in the early years living in the Eagle Valley, he was a hunter by necessity. At age 45 he discovered skiing and perfected his skill with the patience of the Les Streeter group.
“Bob always had a twinkle in his eye,” said his wife Gail Newman. “He was such a hard worker; we planned the memorial for Saturday as he would not be pleased if it were on a work day. Bob was so proud of our son Bill and adored his granddaughters.”
In addition to his wife Gail, Newman is survived by son Bill and his wife, Valeri; grandchildren Roxanne and JeniLee; sisters Dorothy Nesler, of Wayne, Mich., and Betty Alosio of Garden City, Mich.; several nieces and nephews; soul brother Jay Peterson; best friend Linda Becerra; and goddaughter Anna Peterson.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Eagle Valley Community Fund – New Roof Fund, at FirstBank of Vail, 17 Vail Rd., Vail, CO 81658.