Dr. Gene Raymond Newton, a retired internal medicine specialist, died on Saturday, June 18, 2022.
He graduated with 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 began his journey to become a physician.
He had an internal medical residency at Bryn Mawr Hospital and also worked at the Philadelphia Health Department in health district No. 5 for three years. Afterwards, he and Dr. Theodore Burden left to start Burden, Newton Medical Associates, a privately owned practice. They frequently teased each other as to who was “the juice.” Burden would say it was Newton, and Newton would say it was Burden.
Newton was interested in politics, which led him to participate in and work on fundraisers for Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Newton greeted President Clinton when he visited Philadelphia and helped to sponsor a birthday party at the White House. He helped to 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 purchased the Uptown Theater and several surrounding properties as part of the North Broad Street Arts District, before the Liacouras Center was built.
He also served as the chairman 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 draw up a personal service contract with the Philadelphia Department of Health to provide medical services for Episcopal Hospital.
Newton continued to maintain a busy medical practice. Over the years, he had several hospital appointments. But Saint Joseph 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 the nines, according to people who knew him. Once, as he was headed to a formal event, he got a call from Germantown Hospital, where he made a striking appearance in his tuxedo. He loved flowers and often sent them to people who assisted him or his business.
People close to him identified Sam Evans, Percy Sutton and Robert Bogle as his mentors.
“The legacy left by Dr. Newton is truly amazing,” Burden said in a tribute. “First and foremost, he was a husband and father. Both responsibilities he took seriously. He would often bolt from any situation to make sure the family was OK. Secondly, he was a physician who was committed to the community he serviced.”
He is survived by a host of family members and friends.
Services were held on Tuesday, June 21, at Khadijah Alderman Funeral Services Inc.