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January 28, 2022


John S. Newell, III

WEST BRIDGEWATER, MA — John S. Newell, III, age 76, of West Bridgewater and an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam Era, passed away in Weymouth among family on January 28, 2022, after a long illness. He was a member of the board of First Parish Church in West Bridgewater where his forebear, the Rev. John Brown, was Unitarian minister in the 1800s, and was involved in organizing historical records and taking part in gatherings of community events in the parish hall. A memorial for him will be held in the Parish church at 10 a.m. on June 4, 2022.

A retired stage crew member and manager for Cal Performances-Zellerbach Hall and The Playhouse at the University of California, Berkeley, he also made stage draperies for his own company in Richmond, CA and West Bridgewater. He served stateside in the United States Air Force at the Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, and after receiving an honorable discharge from the service, studied theater at the University of California, Berkeley.

Mr. Newell was born in Brockton. He grew up in the Alger family homestead in West Bridgewater and in Pinelawn, Long Island, NY, Alexandria, LA and Quincy, and lived in Kansas City and in Zelienople and Union City, PA, where he graduated high school. He moved back to West Bridgewater with his daughter, Rachel LeGrand, in the early 1980s.

In retirement, he was active in the historical commissions in the Towns of West Bridgewater and Bridgewater, and also in the conservation commissions in West Bridgewater and Plymouth County. 

Mr. Newell and the late Camille LeGrand of Guerneville CA were parents of Rachel LeGrand of Healdsburg, CA and grandparents of Amanda Skye Brewer of Berkeley, CA and the late Mariah Sage Brewer. The son of the late Rev. John Scott Newell, Jr., math teacher at Broad Meadows Junior High School, Quincy, and founder of North Street Church of the Nazarene, Hingham, and Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore. He is also survived by his mother, Dorothy Newell of Weymouth, retired editor for The Patriot Ledger, his younger brothers and sisters-in-law Kerry James Newell and Rena Inez of Heuvelton NY, Thomas Mark Newell (aka puppeteer Thom Blue) and the Rev. Herbert L. Newell and Carol Andrews Newell, FHSS, all of Weymouth, and Scott Robert Newell of Oakland CA, also of Zellerbach Hall.

He is also survived by nieces and nephews, Andrea Newell of Canton, NY, Jodi Katharine and sons, Corado and Benjamin Ambler of Keene, NH, Kelcy J. Newell and Genevieve of Baltimore, Caleb Alger Inez Newell and Laura of MD, Locke James Newell and Kirsten and daughters Freya and Astrid of College Station, TX, the late Martin Aaron Newell of Weymouth and cousins in the James, Alger and Howard families in Plymouth County.