Frederick John Newirth
Frederick John Newirth
  • August 14, 1929 - June 28, 2017
  • Novato, California

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Frederick John Newirth, 87, of Novato, California --- respected physician; beloved husband, father, and friend --- passed away Wednesday, June 28, 2017, of unrelated complications following a successful colon cancer surgery. His absence is already felt by those of us who cherished his company, sought his wise counsel, benefited from his thoughtful advice, and still continue to be inspired by his loyalty, his integrity, his warm sense of humor, and the joy with which he embraced life. Fred passed on his passion for the outdoors to his children, who remember summers spent fishing and camping at the Klamath, Yuba, and other Northern California rivers.

Born in Sheboygan and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Fred Newirth graduated from Marquette University High School and moved to Los Angeles, California, at the age of 17. After only three years of study at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, where he received his medical degree, Dr. Newirth served his rotating internship at Harbor General in Los Angeles County, then was placed (under the doctors' draft) at the 78th USAF Hospital at Hamilton Air Force Base for his general practice residency. While stationed at Hamilton, he fell in love with Marin County and, soon after his discharge from the Air Force , joined a private practice in Novato with Dr. Paul O'Rourke. In 1959, when Dr. O'Rourke left the practice, Dr. Newirth partnered with Dr. Robert Patocchi. During his nine years in private practice, Novato was incorporated and grew from a city of less than 18,000 to a diverse population of more that 30,000. In addition to seeing patients in his office, Dr. Newirth made house calls throughout the community and also delivered many of the babies born in Novato during this period. He was one of the founding partners of the Indian Valley Medical Center.

In 1967, Dr. Newirth closed his private practice to assume the responsibilities of Medical Director for Fireman's Fund Insurance Companies in San Francisco. He was promoted to Vice President and Medical Director, a position he retained when the company was purchased by American Express. During this period, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of Novato Community Hospital (which he was instrumental in founding), designed and implemented a national public service program for the prevention of choking deaths, and also established and directed substance abuse programs, employee exercise facilities, and HIV/AIDS awareness, education, prevention and treatment programs. He attempted to retire from the company when AMEX Life was sold to GE Capital Assurance but was retained as Consulting Medical Director. After nearly 35 years in the corporate sector, Dr. Newirth retired at the end of 2001 to enjoy such favored pastimes as hunting, fishing, traveling, grilling, cooking, gardening, and keeping an immaculate home.

Dr. Newirth is survived by his cherished wife of 40 years, June Lee Newirth. He is also survived by his children: Frederick John Newirth III (Mary), Dianne (Ken) McKay, David (Edith) Newirth , and Nancy (Kent) Lockmiller; by his stepchildren Kathi Troy, Julie Hutchins, Steven Johnson, and Christina (Richard) Bond; by his grandchildren: Frederick John NewIrth IV (Reyna), Meagan ( Matt) Craig, and Ian McKay; by his great-grandchildren: Austin and Anina Craig; and by his sister and brother, Joyce Sommers and Lyle (Colleen) Newirth. To honor Dr. Newirth and celebrate his life, several gatherings of friends and extended family members are being planned throughout California and northward to Alaska in the coming months. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Novato Community Hospital Foundation.

Arrangements under the direction of Keaton's Redwood Chapel of Marin, Novato, CA.