John Meryl Newell, age 79 of Bowerston, died unexpectedly Friday, June 23, 2006, in his home. Born at McCloud, California, July 26, 1926, he was a son of the late Chester and Lucille Truex Newell. John spent most of his life in the area, having resided at Leesville, Levittsville, Strasburg and for the past 17 years at Bowerston.During World War II, John enlisted in the United States Navy, and served between 1944 and 1946 in the European, Pacific and American theaters. After the war, he went to work for Republic Steel as a conductor on their railroad. Soon after, he transferred to Brewster Nickel-Plate Railroad before he became affiliated with Norfolk-Western Railroad which ultimately became Norfolk-Southern Railroad. In his thirty-eight year career, he began working on steam engines shoveling coal into the boiler Â and at the time of his retirement, he was an engineer for a diesel engine. John loved the railroad, but when he was away from it, he devoted himself to his family, who will remember him for his good nature, great sense of humor and love for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. An avid outdoorsman, John loved to garden Â both vegetable and flower varieties. He also will be remembered by family and friends as an accomplished woodworker. John was also a lifetime member of the VFW, he originally joined the former VFW Post 5101 at Leesville, and the American Legion. John leaves behind a family that includes his daughter Marlynn J (Jerry) Hoffman of New Philadelphia, and son, Jon (Linda) Newell of Mineral City, step-daughter Glenna Devine of Toledo, Ohio, a step-son Rex (Tina) Neiger of Clearfield, Pennsylvania; a son-in-law, Perry Myers of Sugarcreek, four granddaughters, Tina (Eric) Himes of Port Washington, Bunny (Tim) Sheehy of Dover, Buffy (Travis) Hostetler of Sugarcreek, and Michelle Devine and her husband Brian MaHaney of Chicago, Illinois; five grandsons, Butch (Cindy) Myers of Strasburg, Stephen Neiger and Jacob Neiger of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, Ronnie Neiger of Seville, Ohio, and John Chester Newell of Mineral City; 11 great-grandchildren, Alyssa, Ciara, Michaela, Geddy, T.J., Tyler, Tristan, Hunter, Cody, Luke, and Abby; four sisters, Donna Marks of Canton, Alice (Carl) Barnes of Kentucky, Jessie McNutt of Mineral City, and Polly Byers of New Philadelphia; a brother, Glenn Newell of Dover; numerous nieces and nephews complete the family. John will also be sadly missed by his companion Jean, his great neighbors Mark and Sue and his wiener dog Shotzy. In addition to his parents, John is preceded in death by his wife, the former Marilyn Bitikofer whom he wed on June 25, 1955. Marilyn preceded John in death forty-four years ago. Mr. Newell is also preceded in death by his daughter, Jenny L. Myers, a grandson Michael Hoffman, and his brother, Bobbie Newell. Friends are invited to call Monday afternoon, June 26, from 2PM-4PM and from 7PM until 9PM in the Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory at New Philadelphia where Pastor Tim Billiter will lead a funeral celebrating John's life Tuesday morning at 10:30 in the funeral home's chapel. Burial will follow in Grandview Union Cemetery at Strasburg where military honors will be rendered. Following the committal service, family and friends will gather for a reception in the Geib Family Center, adjacent to the funeral home at New Philadelphia. Memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society, 201-A West Ohio Avenue, Dover, Ohio, 44622, or to the National World War II Memorial in care of the National World War II Memorial Processing Center PO Box 186 Calverton, NY 11933.