Dr. Gene Raymond Newton, a retired internal medicine specialist, died on Saturday, June 18, 2022.
He received a bachelor’s degree from Cheyney University in 1973 and completed medical school at the University of Pennsylvania in 1977.
Newton was an Army veteran and worked for the Philadelphia Police Department. After an injury while at the department, he started his journey to become a doctor.
He completed an in-house medical residency at Bryn Mawr Hospital and also worked at the Philadelphia Health Department in Health District #5 for three years. Subsequently, he and Dr. Theodore Burden left to establish Burden, Newton Medical Associates, a private practice. They frequently teased each other about who “the juice” was. Burden would say it was Newton, and Newton would say it was Burden.
Newton had an interest in politics, which led him to attend and work on fundraisers for Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Newton hosted President Clinton during his visit to Philadelphia and helped sponsor a birthday party at the White House. He helped start a fundraiser that supported the mayoral campaigns of Wilson Goode, Bill Greene, Ed Rendell, John Street and Michel Nutter.
He also worked to help Sylvester Johnson and Willie Williams become police commissioners. Williams was the first black police commissioner in Philadelphia.
Always a businessman looking for opportunities, as Baron Development Group with Willie Johnson, Burden and developer Bill Rouse, he bought the Uptown Theater and several surrounding properties as part of the North Broad Street Arts District, before the construction of the Liacouras Center.
He also served as president of Penn Landing Corp., president of the Penn Chapter Student National Medical Association, and vice president of medical affairs at the Philadelphia Nursing Home. In 1984, he helped draft a personal service contract with the Philadelphia Department of Health to provide medical services at the Episcopal Hospital.
Newton continued to maintain a busy medical practice. Over the years, he had several hospital appointments. But St. Joseph’s Hospital was a special place for him until it closed in 2016. That same year, an illness forced him to retire from medical practice.
Newton always dressed to perfection, according to people who knew him. Once, while on his way to a formal event, he received a call from Germantown Hospital, where he made a striking appearance in his tuxedo. He loved flowers and often sent them to people who helped him or his business.
People close to him have identified Sam Evans, Percy Sutton and Robert Bogle as his mentors.
“The legacy left by Dr. Newton is truly incredible,” Burden said in a tribute. “He was first and foremost a husband and a father. Both responsibilities he took seriously. He would often step out of any situation to make sure the family was well. Secondly, he was a committed doctor to the community he served.
He is survived by a host of family members and friends.
Services were held on Tuesday, June 21 at Khadijah Alderman Funeral Services Inc.