Byron Bruce Newell

Byron Bruce Newell Jr.

Sunday, July 31st, 1932 - Thursday, April 9th, 2020
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Admiral B. Bruce Newell, 87, died on April 9, 2020 at his home in New Holland, PA. He is survived by his wife Theresa Troncale Newell, four children, four stepchildren, 34 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and a brother, Capt. John W. Newell.
The son of the late Byron Bruce Newell of Camphill, AL and Eleanor Davis (Whitaker) Newell of Washington DC, Bruce was born July 31, 1932 in Long Beach, California.
Following graduation in 1950 from George Washington High School in Alexandria, VA, he attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT for one year on the first Washington DC Area scholarship. Admiral Newell completed his undergraduate training in 1955 at the United States Naval Academy where he captained the soccer team earning First Team All-American honors as a goalkeeper. He served at sea in the Weapons Department of U.S. Navy destroyers Lowry and Hull for the first four years of his twenty-nine year Navy career.
From 1959-62 he attended the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, earning a Masters Degree in Electronics Engineering specializing in Information and Control Systems. He wrote his thesis on Thermoplastic Recording at Ampex Corporation in Redwood City, California.
In 1962, as a Lieutenant, he was ordered to command the towing and salvage ship, Takelma (ATF-113), in Pearl Harbor. Following command, he completed nuclear power training and served for three years as the Executive Officer of the landbased nuclear propulsion, submarine and destroyer, prototype training facility in Ballston Spa, New York. He then served for three years in the grade of Commander as Executive Officer of the nuclear powered cruiser, Truxtun (CGN-35), completing three deployments in the Gulf of Tonkin during the war in Vietnam.
In 1971, he was ordered to command the destroyer Charles Adams (DDG-2) and deployed for six months with the Standing Naval Force of NATO, at the time the only multi-national naval force in the world. Following his destroyer command he served for one year at the Navy Recruiting Command in Washington, DC as the Head of Promotions responsible for promoting the Navy’s image as the All-Volunteer Force replaced the draft. Traveling and speaking across the country, he trumpeted the "Go Navy” message in creative venues from hydroplane races to hot rod events.
In 1974 he completed training at Naval Reactors to qualify for command of a nuclear powered warship and was ordered to command the nuclear cruiser Bainbridge (CGN-25). During his 38-month command tour, Bainbridge completed an Indian Ocean deployment and reactor core replacement at Bremerton, Washington.
He returned to Washington, DC in 1977 serving in the Pentagon as the Director of the Surface Manpower and Training Division (OP-39) on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. During this assignment, then Captain Newell directed a complete revamping of the manning and training policy for the surface Navy. Selected for Rear Admiral in 1979, he was ordered to a one-year tour as a Deputy Director for Operations in the National Military Command Center of the Department of Defense. Following this assignment he completed two tours on the staff of Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman, as the Navy's Chief of Information and then as Chief of Legislative Affairs. During his four years as spokesman to the media and the Congress, the Navy achieved its goal of 600 ships and 15 carrier Battle Groups. He was awarded the Navy's highest peacetime decoration, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, for his service.
Retiring in 1984, Admiral Newell began a second career as a pastor in the Episcopal Church. Graduating from Virginia Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity Degree in 1987, he served in two churches and as the Director of an Episcopal Conference Center before being called to Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania as Associate Dean for Operation and Development. During his six years on Trinity's staff, he directed the administration of the school and helped raise over eight million dollars to provide for annual operating expenses as well as build two modern administration buildings. One of the two buildings is named in his honor. Following his work for Trinity, Admiral Newell served for three years on the staff of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Sewickley, PA retiring in 2006. He continued to function in retirement as a Bible teacher. He has written commentaries on Romans, the Gospel of John, the Gospel of Mark and the Book of Acts for the Bible Reading Fellowship. He also served for four years as a substitute math teacher at a private school, Sewickley Academy.
Admiral Newell married Ingrid Asche of Annapolis, Maryland, in 1955. Together they raised four children. In 1989 Ingrid died in an automobile accident. In 1990, Admiral Newell married Theresa Troncale Mulligan of Birmingham, Alabama, the mother of four grown children.
Admiral Newell’s father, LCDR Byron B. Newell, a 1930 graduate of the Naval Academy, was killed in action on board the USS Hornet in the Battle of the Santa Cruz on Oct 26, 1942. Admiral Newell’s son, Captain Robert D. Newell, USN, a graduate of the NROTC program at Auburn University, retired in 2009 after 24 years of active duty. Captain Rob Newell’s final assignment was Deputy Chief of Information. In addition to his father ( USNA‘30), Admiral Newell’s brother, John (‘57), two Uncles, James Harold (‘34) and William Carl (‘48A), a nephew, James H Newell, Jr.(63)and son in law, Edwin Bruce Watts (‘80), all graduated from the Naval Academy. His granddaughter, Caroline Watts, is a USNA graduate, class of 2018 and is in pilot training. His nephew, Justin Newell, will graduate USNA in 2021.
A livestream viewing and prayer service will be broadcast on April 14 at 1PM at A memorial service will be held at a later date. Interment will be in the Arlington National Cemetery. To send the family online condolences or view livestream visit us at In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to: USNA Class of 1955 and mailed to: Robin Pirie, 4405 Stanford Street, Chevy Chase, MD 20815-5207, or to Trinity School for Ministry at; Petra Church (; CMJ ( or Cavod Academy of the Arts ( Arrangements by Groff-High Funeral Home, New Holland.

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Service Details

  • Interment

    Arlington National Cemetery
    Lee Ave.
    ARLINGTON, VA 22211
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
Check back later, by Sunday, for service details.


  • US Navy


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Jane Reynolds Bersch

Posted at 12:35pm
With special and loving memories of your Dad -and Mom, Aunt Jane
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John Backof

Posted at 07:30am
As a West Point Grad, I really enjoyed all the ribbing Bruce and I used to give each other, especially around the Army-Navy football game. Also, his total involvement in our Kiwanis Club in the sunset years of his life spoke volumes about his many accomplishments throughout his life. I will miss his presence in our community. John Backof (USMA 75)- Lititz,Pa.


Posted at 03:13pm
I have a lot of good memories of, as he was known to me, Mr. Newell. I grew up next door to the Newells in Springfield, VA. My deepest sympathies and condolences to Tommy, Robbie, Susie, Mike, Teresa and the rest of the family.
-Diane Shannon Sleeman

Terry Webb

Posted at 02:05pm
A life well lived is the way I would describe the Legacy video I just viewed of Bruce's life. His humility and service both to our Lord and our country has been an example to many. Sail on dear friend. We will miss you.

Mary W Thompson

Posted at 01:57pm
Laurie & I send our condolences from Trinity School for Ministry. Today’s service was beautiful and honoring and we loved hearing from his & Theresa’s family, friends & colleagues. Thank-you for allowing us to be a part of today’s ceremony. We feel blessed and Bruce’s family will remain in our prayers in the days to come.
Alleluia! Christ has risen!

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