2005 News: Memorial fund established for Benita Newton

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By Bill Choyke

Dear Friends,

A number of you have inquired about arrangements for Benita. Here is what I know and the obituary provided to us by the funeral home in Alabama.

The funeral will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, August 6, at the New Lilly Green Baptist Church,
6504 Deatsville Hwy., Deatsville, AL 36022 (334-285-0546). Deatsville
is near Montgomery. Hillside Mortuary, 3274 Central Plank Road, Wetumpka, Ala., 36092 is handling arrangements.

The obituary follows.

Benita Doroshae Newton was born in Fort Polk, LA, on January 16, 1980. She passed away suddenly at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, VA on July 26, 2005.

She was preceded in death by her father Benjamin A. Newton Jr. and her sister Davina Pickett-Marlow. She leaves to mourn a devoted and loving mother, Dorothy Newton (AL); brother, David (Glossie) Pickett (GA); sister Davidcia (Antonio) Stubbs (OH); three nieces, Lexus Pickett (GA), Ishsha Stubbs and Shemaiah Stubbs (OH); grandmother, Carrie Newton (AL); two special friends, Greg Jackson (GA) and Joanne Mitchell (GA) and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives.

Benita was an honor graduate of the class of 1997 at Holtville High School, Holtville, Alabama. She graduated with high honors and received an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Alabama in 2001. She then enrolled in the university’s School of Business and earned a Master’s in Business Administration in 2003. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate enrollments, she served as a resident director and taught at the university. Also during her time at the University of Alabama, she worked for newspapers in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, served as a volunteer instructor with West Alabama AIDS Outreach , was a member of Blue Key, was named an Ayers Scholar and a McNair Scholar , received a William Randolph Hearst Award for in-depth reporting and completed a summer internship at Newsweek magazine in New York City.

After receiving her MBA, Benita worked for one year as an intern for the St. Petersburg Times. From there, she moved to the Portsmouth, VA area, and became a business reporter with the Virginian-Pilot, where the managing editor remarked that she was “one of the best young journalists I”™ve ever met”. Benita had also begun teaching an evening journalism course at Hampton University. In addition over the last two years, Benita completed a novel and was in the process of getting it published. Her family will continue to pursue this for her.

Benita was sweet and quiet, warm but shy and her quick smile and sparkling eyes were unforgettable. Not only was she smart and hardworking, she always wanted to do a good job and she had a compassionate heart. She has been described as “wise beyond her years”. In a short time, she touched many and has left a lasting impression that is worthy of being imitated. She will be missed greatly by all who loved her, especially her mom, her brother and her sister.

If you are interested in learning more about her beautiful life, go to Google.com and type in Benita Newton.

Donations can be made to the Benita Newton Memorial Fund c/o the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, University of Missouri – Columbia, School of Journalism, 385 McReynolds Columbia, MO 65211-1200, to support its initiative to encourage more young African-American journalists to pursue business journalism. 



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