Obituary: Newman E. Silks Jr., of Trumbull, formerly a longtime resident of Harrisburg, Pa.

Newman E. Silks, Jr., a native and longtime resident of Harrisburg, PA, passed away on January 24th, 2014, in Trumbull, CT, where he lived with his son Larry and his family for the last six years.

Born October 21, 1927, to the late Newman and Elva Silks, he was pre-deceased by the love of his life, Thelma Louise (Harm) Silks, his wife of sixty years.

Newman grew up in Harrisburg surrounded by family and was a proud graduate of William Penn High School, Class of ’45. In addition to many years of employment at AMP, Inc., he worked for Thompson Products/TRW and several companies in the New England area. The evolution of his career brought him and his family from Harrisburg to Trumbull, several Massachusetts cities, York, Mechanicsburg, and Bethel, Pa.

Newman was a member of the Robert Burns Lodge 464, a 32° member of the Harrisburg Consistory, AASR, and the Zembo Shriners since 1952. He had a passion for music and sports and was active during high school and throughout adulthood.

A devoted member of Little Swatara Church of the Brethren in Bethel, he taught Sunday school, sang in the choir, and was instrumental in starting the church’s preschool program. He served as president of the homeowners association of Arrowpoint Estates near Bethel, where he retired and lived for nearly 20 years in a house designed by his son Larry.

Newman treasured his family and the friends he made everywhere he went, and his warmth and lively sense of humor will be missed by all.

He is survived by sons Bob and his wife Kathy of Harrisburg and Larry and his wife Donna of Trumbull; grandchildren Robert Silks, Jr., Jennifer Voight, and Chris and Cody Silks; great-grandchildren Ava and Kenneth Voight, Jr.; brother-in-law Gil Otto; nephew Ronald Poorman and nieces Cheryl Arndt, Suzanne Landis, Jackie Smith, and Linda Swank; and beloved lifelong friends known as “The Gang”: Ray and Bertie Dively, Dick and Jeanne Durburow, and Jack Sanders.

He was predeceased by his brother William; sisters Sara L. Cleckner, Katherine Poorman, and Elva Otto; and grandson Scott M. Silks.

A memorial service will be announced at a future time. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Harrisburg Public Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 54, Harrisburg, PA 17108; or to Little Swatara Church of the Brethren, 31 Rehrersburg Rd., Bethel, PA 19507.

To light a virtual candle, visit