Ethel H. (nee Hostetter) NEWTON

Ethel H. Newton (nee Hostetter)

February 26, 1921 – December 1, 2010

Ethel Newton died at the Nanaimo Regional Hospital as the result of a massive stroke.  She passed away, surrounded by family, at peace and without pain.  She is survived by her children: Elizabeth (Bob), Patricia, Linda and Rick; her grandchildren: Janice (Herm), Michael, Scott, Zoe, Dylan, Danielle and Corey; her great-grandchildren: Nicholas, Gabrielle, Alexia, and Daniel; her sisters: Rosemary Davies (Art) and Anne Hostetter, and many friends and relatives.  Ethel was pre-deceased by her husband, Warner Hewer Newton; brother, George Bligh Hostetter; sisters: Mildred Robertson and Margaret Humphrey, and grandson Kristopher.

Ethel was born on the family farm, deeded in 1775, near St. Catharines, Ontario. The family were United Empire Loyalist immigrants from Switzerland to Pennsylvania, U. S. and then to Ontario.  Her parents, Jacob and Rachel Hostetter, operated the large peach farm as well as businesses in the Niagara-on-the-Lake community.  During the Depression, her father was forced to sell the farm to Brights Winery.  He became a farm manager for Brights and the peach farm became a vineyard.  Over the years, Ethel regaled her family with stories about her experiences growing up on the farm.

In 1945 she met and married Warner Newton, a graduate of the Ontario Agricultural College.  When Warner received a job offer in the agricultural field, in Chilliwack, the newly-wed couple travelled by train to Agassiz, B.C.  In 1948, Warner’s new agricultural nursery business was destroyed by the Fraser River Flood.  He re-trained to work in the construction industry as a site superintendent and estimator.  Thereafter, Ethel, Warner and their children lived in Vancouver, Newton (Surrey), Victoria and Nanaimo. 

Ethel played a selfless supporting role to her husband and children.  She volunteered for church groups, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, and junior soccer.  She supported Warner in his volunteer work, his art, his bee-keeping, and his involvement with ham radio. She supported her children and grandchildren in their music, theatre, art and sports endeavors and encouraged them in their post-secondary education and career decisions.

Ethel worked as an office clerk for the Chilliwack Co-op.  When her youngest child was off to school, she re-trained at Malaspina College and worked for Quadra Steel in Nanaimo.  When Ethel turned 60, she declared that she was going to do only things that she enjoyed.  She learned to swim and joined the local hiking group. Her family was proud of her when she received an award for hiking the equivalent of the height of Mt. Everest. Warner and Ethel enjoyed many road trips in B.C. and the Pacific Northwest, as well as travel to the many Kiwanis and Shriner conferences across North America.  Later, Ethel travelled to Japan, Australia and Cuba.

Ethel was very active in the Bowen Park Seniors Program, making many friends there.  Playing Bridge and line dancing were her passions.  Most days for the past 30 years, she could be found at the pool swimming a mile, followed by 3 hours of line dancing or hiking around Westwood Lake, followed by working in her garden or playing Bridge.  She loved to read, play word games and talk to family members.

She is missed and cherished by her family.  Her legacy lies in the bright and beautiful grandchildren and great-grandchildren she felt blessed with, who will be able to follow her example of facing their challenges with determination, independence, and courage.

Heartfelt thanks from the family to Dr. Forrester for his very special care of Mom, the staff and hospice volunteers of the Palliative Care Unit, N.R.G.H., and friends and neighbours who always kept an eye out for Mom in her later years.