BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
T. A. Newton was recently honored for his 33 years of service on the Greenville’s Board of Adjustment by the Greenville Mayor’s Office and the Greenville City Council at the recent council meeting on Monday, June 10.
Mayor Dexter McLendon acknowledged Newton’s service with a proclamation and expressed his honor and gratitude to Newton for his loyal commitment to the citizens of Greenville.
Newton was born in in Greenville on Jan. 22, 1931. He attended Greenville schools and graduated from Greenville High School and then joined the Alabama National Guard at 18 years old.
In 1950, he was mobilized as part of his unit but said they kicked him out because he only had one good eye. He explained the Army had him listed as 4F because at seven years old he had one eye put out.
After returning to Greenville, he worked at Sims Fox Chevrolet for several years and then married Patricia Joy in May of 1954. He went back for another physical determination later that year and this time he passed the examination.
Shortly thereafter he was drafted into US Army on Dec. 28, 1954. He spent two years in the Army as a supply man with a 3C Profile, which meant no field or sea duty. Newton explained he went to school for supply.
Newton served in the US Army for two years until December of 1956. Thereafter he was assigned back to the Alabama National Guard and he served with them for 22 years and nine months.
In 1957, he bought the hotdog and hamburger stand across from the Butler County Courthouse, which, his father owned. He laughingly stated, “It took me seven months to sell it.”
After selling the restaurant, Newton went to work in Decatur for Hicks Chevrolet and spent 20 years there eventually becoming the Service Director over parts and service. “Mr. Hicks was a very good man,” Newton explained. “I left after Mr. Hicks sold the dealership and returned to Greenville in 1977.”
Back in Greenville, Newton worked for his brother, Emmitt Newton at Fox Chevrolet from 1977 to 1985 as parts and body shop manager. After that he and William T. Lewis started a body shop and he worked there until 1996 when he retired and went home to take care of his disabled wife until she passed in 2010.
On July 22, 1986, Newton was appointed to the Board of Adjustment as a supernumerary member. Shortly thereafter he became a regular member and served almost 15 years in the capacity as chairman until James Reaves was appointed to the Board and became the official chairman in January of 2004.
At that time, Newton was elected as vice-chairman and he served on the Board an additional 15 years.
- A., as he is fondly considered, can often be found at the Camellia City Bakery having coffee most weekdays with the 9:30 coffee club.
Newton has two sons, Gregg and Thomas, and two granddaughters.