George Harvey Newton
FRAMINGHAM: George Harvey Newton, 80, passed away Tuesday, January 5, 2021 surrounded by his family. A quintessential New Englander with legendary creativity and logic, George was most proud to be a husband, brother, father, and grandfather. Known affectionately as “Pop” by his grandchildren, he was renowned by friends and family alike for his unwavering belief that all problems, no matter the magnitude, had a solution (as long as you had a big enough hammer and a cup of coffee).
Born to Harvey and Edna Newton on August 22nd, 1940, George was a lifelong native of Massachusetts. Raised in Cochituate, George spent summers in Cape Cod with his siblings, Connie and Dave. He met his wife Jean in Boston in 1965, whom he married in 1966. They raised three children in their beloved Framingham farmhouse, and at their summer cabin in New Hampshire.
A lifelong boy scout, he started his scouting career with his brother Dave in the Cochituate Troop. Later in life, he would spend many years as a scout leader for Troop 36 in Framingham.
Fascinated by machinery and technology from a young age, he assembled his first computer in high school. A self-taught student of the field, George proudly spent his career as an early pioneer of the computing industry, working alongside both his sister Connie and brother Dave at the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). His enthusiasm for the field also led him to spend thirty years as an Adjunct Professor at Boston University, teaching low-level computer engineering fundamentals.
Outside of work, George spent many years volunteering at the Walk for Hunger. He and Jean spent thirty years dancing with the Fairs n’ Squares, and served many years on the club’s board, including two terms as President.
Ever the tinkerer, his friends and family will forever remember his need to know how everything worked. Whether it was turning six broken tractors into one working one, constructing a house in a day, or making his grandson’s birthday cake fly, George’s creative problem solving skills were unparalleled. He insistently tried to fix things himself before ever trusting the opinion of a professional.
George was the source of many witticisms, known to his family as “Pop-isms”. When facing 1/16th of a tank of gas in his old Suburbans, he would insist that “we could drive to New Hampshire and back on this!” During construction projects, when admiring his own over-engineering, he would remark “I’m glad I’m not the one who will have to disassemble this.” And, when working with anyone else, he would offer helpful suggestions like “Hold the flashlight straight already”, or “Point the fire extinguisher at the project, not at me!”
George had a special way of touching the lives of everyone who knew him. He never pushed, but always drove those he loved to believe in their own capability. Each person who knew him was left with their own unique, but equally incredible set of memories.
George is survived by his wife Jean, siblings Dave and Connie, children Kim, Amy, and Jim, and his nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. A celebration of his life will be held at a later time to be announced.