50 years and counting

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 25, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Betty Jean Hoyle Newton and Clyde Leonard Newton of Grove Avenue celebrate 50 years of wedded bliss today. Both proclaim they are more in love today than ever and that abiding love continues to grow.

&uot;I’ve stayed him simply because I love him so much… more today than when we first met,&uot; said Betty Newton. &uot;We were both graduates of Chase City (Va.) High School and he graduated three years ahead of me, but I thought he had the most beautiful expressive blue eyes. He could grin at you, and he still does, and it meant the world to you. That grin was just so special I couldn’t resist.&uot;

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The couple married, and Clyde Newton went straight from high school to the old Colonial Stores. He was promoted to produce manager and was so good at his work, he was eventually transferred to the Franklin store, then later to the Suffolk site on West Washington Street.

&uot;We came to Suffolk with our year-old-son, Michael Clark Newton, and our daughter, Diane, was born four years later,&uot; said Betty Newton.

After the company continued to use Newton’s expertise as a produce manager, moving him around this city’s Colonial Stores, they notified him that his next move would be to Ahoskie, N.C. That’s where Newton and his family drew the line since they’d grown to love the people of Suffolk so much.

&uot;That’s when he decided to turn his hobby in electronics into a business,&uot; said a proud wife. &uot;We bought land at 1011 West Washington, on the advice of my father, and built a place of business, Newton’s TV Sales & Service, later adding on to it twice.&uot;

Betty Newton saw the future and realized that she could be of tremendous help to her husband’s new business. In preparation, she trained for business with the help of Ernest Stephenson, a retiree from Planters who was operating the old Planters Store on the corner of Main and Market streets.

&uot;I was there only for a year while my husband was building the store for his business,&uot; said Newton. &uot;It wasn’t hard work at the Planters Store, but it trained me to get up, get the children off to school, and get to work on time.&uot;

When Newton’s TV first opened, Betty Newton was by her husband’s side, exactly where she’d always been.

&uot;I enjoyed being involved in the business so much and from the very beginning our 13-year-old son was right there with us, and he enjoyed every minute of being involved with the business,&uot; said Betty Newton. &uot;He also ran the business for a while after Clyde retired.&uot;

As for Clyde, he is enjoying his retirement… to a point.

&uot;I miss the business and all my customers, and two employees who became like family members; Jimmy Johnson and Robert Bangley,&uot; said Newton. &uot;We had a good relationship and after 33 years, you get attached to people and they were super to work with. Of course, my son was with me since he graduated from high school, and I just miss that time with him.&uot;

Newton said he is happy, however, because through it all his wife has stood by his side.

&uot;She was always with me and she was such a wonderful helpmate,&uot; said Newton. &uot;From the beginning, we shared the same ideas, likes and dislikes and we’ve always hit it off just fine. Today, we are happier than ever before and I love her much more than even in the very beginning. Love, the right kind, just grows and grows.&uot;

&uot;We marked this day 50-years ago with a deep faith in God and our love for one another which we pledged forever,&uot; said Newton. &uot;Today, we mark the anniversary of our vows and again, we can say, we are still deeply in love and have an even deeper faith in the God who helped us throughout our lives.&uot;