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1934 Patricia 2023

Patricia Ruth (Thornhill) Newton

August 4, 1934 — November 27, 2023

Little Rock, Arkansas

Patricia Thornhill Sievers “Pat” Newton, 89, of Little Rock, died Monday, November 27, at Hospice Homecare Inpatient Center in Little Rock. Pat, a long-time resident of Warren, and her husband R. L. “Bob” Newton, were the one-time owners and publishers of The Eagle Democrat.

Pat was born August 4, 1934, in Shreveport, LA, the oldest child of the late Frank LeNoir Thornhill and Ruth Dunigan Thornhill. Raised in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, she graduated from Pine Bluff High School in 1952. After her graduation from high school Pat began work in the collection department of Simmons Bank and Trust and soon worked her way up as executive assistant to Mr. E. L. Williams. In this position she had the opportunity to use her personality to greet bank customers as well as her secretarial skills. Though she planned to attend Arkansas A&M (now University of Arkansas at Monticello) after graduation, Pat loved her position at Simmons Bank and decided to continue her work there instead of attending college. During this time she was introduced to Peter Sievers, a chemical engineer from Milwaukee stationed at the Pine Bluff Arsenal. She and Peter dated for several years and married on September 24, 1960. The couple moved to Racine, Wisconsin after Peter was discharged from military service.

After settling in Racine, Pat continued her work in the banking business as an assistant to the Vice President of West Racine Bank. After two years she resigned her position and prepared for the birth of their first child, Lisa Renee. Eighteen months later, Patricia Ann “Tricia” was born. In early 1965, Peter was diagnosed with leukemia. He died in October that same year. Pat, a single parent with two young children, returned to Pine Bluff in 1967 to be close to family.

Once back in Arkansas, Pat began her career as a kindergarten teacher at Trinity Episcopal School in Pine Bluff, where she taught for 11 years. She, Lisa, and Tricia became active in Wesley United Methodist Church where Pat taught Sunday School and served in various organizations. In addition to her time teaching at Trinity, Pat and her best friend Dianne Browning opened and operated a summer camp at the church called Camp Laf-A-Lot.

In 1979 Pat’s former pastor at Wesley, the late Rev. Bob Regnier, and his wife Irene, of Warren, introduced Pat to Bob Newton, a widower with two young daughters. The couple married June 4, 1980, and became a family of six, living in Warren.

The Newtons owned and operated Warren’s weekly newspaper, The Eagle Democrat, along with the Bradley-Cleveland County Shoppers Guide, until they retired. Pat kept and maintained the books while Bob wrote the articles. In Warren, Pat served as an Elder and Clerk of Session at the First Presbyterian Church. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Bradley County Medical and Health Foundation. Along with other breast cancer survivors, Pat founded Bradley County Breast Cancer Survivors and Friends, a community group made up not only of survivors, but families, friends, and loved ones. In addition, she was asked to participate as a Bradley County representative on the Southeast Arkansas Concert Association. Through these organizations Pat was able to utilize her banking talents as well as people skills to organize fundraisers. She produced massively popular cookbooks which sold not only in Bradley County but across the state.

Additionally, following her battle with breast cancer, Pat served as Chairperson of the Bradley County Relay for Life, took part in multiple teams for the Race for the Cure and for several years modeled in the Runway for a Cure event in Little Rock.

Bob died in 2013 and Pat moved to Little Rock in the summer of 2015. She became active in Pulaski Heights Methodist Church and Highland Valley United Methodist Church in Little Rock. She also became socially active with a group of women, “The YaYas”.

Surviving are her daughters, Lisa Sievers Sulhoff (David) of Wentzville, MO; The Honorable Tricia Sievers Harris (Jim) of Little Rock, AR; Hope Newton Cain (Erwin) of Como, TX; and Caroline Newton Johnson (Baker) of Warren, AR; twelve grandchildren: Brooke Sikorski (Kyle), Murfreesboro, TN; Carter Llewellyn (Bayli), Wentzville, MO; Blake Llewellyn (Amanda), Wentzville, MO; Alex Sulhoff, O’Fallon, MO; Scott Harris, Little Rock, AR; Hunter Cain, Dallas, TX; Averi Cain, Como, TX; Honour Cain, Little Rock, AR; Matt
Johnson (Kara), Hamburg, AR; Christopher Selby, Crossett, AR; Shelby Johnson, Hamburg, AR and Mackenzie Selby, Little Rock, AR; 10 great grandchildren; and her sister-in-law, Betty Thornhill, and niece, Elizabeth Duke (Dietrich), of Maumelle, AR.

Pat was preceded in death by her parents, husbands Peter Sievers and Bob Newton, and her brother,
Frank L. “Buddy” Thornhill.

A memorial and celebration of life will be held at a later date in Little Rock. In lieu of flowers, the family
requests memorials be made to the Patricia and Robert L. Newton Scholarship Endowment through the
Arkansas Community Foundation at

Arrangements by Arkansas Cremation, 10515 W Markham St, Ste B1, Little Rock, AR 72205.  

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