Samuel Tyler Blanchard Newton, 31, a former Garrison resident, died on Aug. 29, 2019, in his apartment in New York City from an apparent drug overdose.
According to his parents, Blake and Belle Newton, Samuel believed his opioid addiction stemmed from the use of painkillers prescribed to him as a teenager following the removal of his wisdom teeth. They said he was involved in his recovery at the time of his death through meetings sponsored by Narcotics Anonymous and several allied programs.
Samuel was born Sept. 25, 1987, in New York City, where he lived until moving to Garrison with his parents in 1996. He graduated from The Salisbury School in Salisbury, Connecticut, in 2006, and from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in sculpture.
After returning to New York City following college, Samuel worked for the Swann Galleries auction house before joining the building information modeling department at Turner Construction Co. He later worked in the sales department of Brazill Brothers & Associates, a manufacturer’s representative in the electrical industry.
A long-term avocation as a DJ began in high school and continued until his death. He also enjoyed hiking, hunting, fishing, drawing, sculpture and playing lacrosse, both on school teams and in amateur leagues.
His parents said his warm manner, quick sense of humor and ongoing sense of adventure were an infectious combination that made lifelong friends of nearly everyone he met. They said he was recognized as a leader and mentor among his friends in the New York City recovery community.
Besides his parents and other family members, Samuel is survived by his girlfriend, Elizabeth Rusnock; his sponsor, Chris McDonnell; and his mentors, James Sheehan and Jesse Harlan.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. at the parish house of St. Philip’s Church, 1101 Route 9D, in Garrison, with interment to follow in the churchyard.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Philip’s Church, P.O. Box 158, Garrison, NY 10524; the Garrison Art Center, 23 Garrison’s Landing, Garrison, NY 10524; or the Caron Foundation, Attn: Development Office, 243 N. Galen Hall Road, Wernersville, PA 19565.