Remembering Notable Napervillian Walter Newman

Remembering Notable Napervillian Walter Newman
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A helping hand in creating Naperville’s master plan and Historic District are some accomplishments Walter Newman left behind.

The former Director of Community Development and Zoning Administrator for Naperville died on September 18, 2020.

“He was truly an old fashioned gentleman,” said Kathy West, a longtime friend of Newman. “And he was always really kind and gracious.” She added, “He was truly dedicated to Naperville and all of the work he did in terms of creating the master plan and the zoning ordinances.”

Walter Newman’s Legacy

According to his obituary Newman issued over 30,000 building permits for new homes, helped enhance the city’s appeal with business signage, and required that builders donate land to establish local parks and open spaces for public use.

“Walter Newman’s work as Naperville’s Director of Community Development for the City of Naperville from 1976 to 1995, helped transform Naperville from a small town into one of the fastest growing cities in the Midwest. Naperville grew by about 70,000 residents during his tenure. Mr. Newman helped usher in the Naperville as we know it today – a well planned out community with wonderful parks and amenities,” said Linda LaCloche, a spokesperson for the City of Naperville.

Newman was also a dedicated volunteer, spending time at Naper Settlement. In 2011 he was inducted into Naperville’s Hall of Honor in recognition of his impact and contributions to the city.

“Walt was a great supporter of Naper Settlement.  He made time in his busy schedule to attend events and programs and he understood how important preservation and education is to the community,” said Louise Howard, the Curator of Collections at Naper Settlement. When he retired, he volunteered in the Settlement’s research library.  We will miss him.”

Newman was 97 years old, and honorably served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II. He recently celebrated his 71st wedding anniversary with his beloved wife, Midge, whom he married in 1949, according to his obituary.

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.


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