Robert M. Newell
May 18, 1940 – July 4, 2019
Robert was born in 1940 in Blandinsville, Illinois. He passed peacefully on July 4, 2019 at his home in Naples with his wife Vicki of 28 years by his side. Robert fought valiantly with cancer for the last 4 years of his life.
He was a man of many talents and was found at a very young age to possess a gift for music. He was known internationally both as a composer and conductor and received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Illinois. Robert was twice a Fulbright grantee- first to Paris, where he studied two years under Olivier Messiaen, then again as conductor and lecturer in South America during the 1980's and 90's. His prize -winning work, Ryo-nen was performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra in 1986. In the years that followed Dr. Newell toured major cities of South America to conduct orchestras and lecture on 20th century music. Upon returning to the US he was commissioned by Ohio to compose and conduct a work to celebrate the Bicentennial of the Northwest Ordinance, a historic event that marked the opening of the Northwest Territories. For this he received the coveted "Ohioana" Award and was acclaimed by the Ohio Senate as a "remarkable" and "unique" individual.
Rob served as an artist/teacher at the University of Illinois, California State University, Chapman College and Composer in Residence at Ohio University. He served as Music Director at various churches in Albuquerque, NM, Summerville, SC, Clearwater, FL and Naples, FL where his compositions of sacred works were often featured. Robert was also a talented singer touring professionally with such groups as The Desert Chorale in Santa Fe, NM.
One of Rob's proudest achievements was becoming a teacher of Transcendental Meditation in Switzerland under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He taught courses and lectured at centers around the country. He possessed an incredible love for tennis and was a teacher as well as a player of the sport. Robert enjoyed traveling with his wife to various European destinations as well as Central and South America, the Virgin Islands and the United States.
Robert was preceded in death by his father Lyle Newell and his mother Maxine Newell.
He is survived by his sister Rose Deener; brother Roger Newell; son Troy Newell; as well as many nieces and nephews that he adored. His gentle spirit as well as his love for the Lord will be greatly missed by all that knew him.
Interment will be held at The Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Maysville, KY on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 2:00pm.
A Memorial Service will follow at a later date in Naples, FL.