We gathered on March 7 in solemn remembrance of our cherished friend and esteemed Kiwanian, Dr. Byron Newman, who recently passed away at the age of 94. Joined by Byron’s beloved wife, Bunny, and her daughter, Judi, we honored a man who dedicated 52 years of his life to selfless community service as a proud member of Kiwanis.

In tribute to Byron, we shared a meal adorned with his favorite dishes, culminating in Judi’s renowned apple pies—a dessert Byron held in the highest esteem. Amidst heartfelt moments, John Crawford delivered a poignant eulogy (See below.), recounting Byron’s myriad achievements and boundless zest for life. Mickey Zeichick read a touching letter from Byron’s nephew, illustrating the profound impact Byron had on those closest to him.

A bittersweet blend of tears and smiles accompanied a slideshow capturing cherished memories shared with Byron throughout the years. Renowned for his infectious humor, Byron took pride in bringing joy to all who knew him. True to his spirit, our gathering concluded with a lighthearted segment led by Kiwanian of the Day, Kathy Butterstein. She delighted us with Byron’s clever limericks tailored to each attendee, inviting us to fill in the blanks with our names—a fitting reminder of the laughter and joy Byron brought into our lives.

Though Byron’s absence leaves a palpable void, his legacy of laughter and generosity will endure. May he find eternal peace, knowing he enriched the lives of all who knew him.








Kathy Butterstein shared Byron's clever limericks.

The Grantville-Allied Gardens Kiwanis Club is saddened by the tragic and sudden passing of Dr. Byron Yale Newman, a Kiwanian for more than 52 years. 

Born July 3rd, 1929 in Warren, Ohio, Dr. Newman spent more than 60 years as a licensed optometrist following his service in the United States Army. 

After graduating as a journalism student from Warren G. Harding High School, Byron enlisted in the U.S. Army and served at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. He was sent to Seoul, Korea in 1946 and worked for the U.S. Army newspaper there, putting his high school experience as a journalist to use. More than 50,000 American troops would read his articles while serving in Korea. 

Having joined the Van Nuys Kiwanis Club in August 1971 (he often said he would have joined ten years earlier, if only had he been invited sooner), Byron put together a long and storied resumé in Kiwanis, including more than 19 years as a member of the Grantville-Allied Gardens Club. He was elected Club President two times, once in Van Nuys, and once in the City of Orange. He served as Lieutenant Governor of Division 25 in 1980-81, and he proudly spent several years in the 1980s as the editor-in-chief of the Cal-Nev-Ha Kiwanis District bulletin. 

Having already served in Kiwanis for 33 years, Byron and his wife, Alice (more commonly known to us as “Bunny”) moved to San Diego in 2004, where Bunny could be closer to her daughter, Judi. At the behest of Gene Elmore, Byron joined the Grantville-Allied Gardens Kiwanis Club in September 2004, and immediately became one of our most dedicated club members. In 2009, he became a charter member of the newly-formed KYDS Club of San Diego of San Diego (“Kiwanis Youth Development and Support”). In total, Byron spent time as a member of six different Kiwanis Clubs over more than 52 years. 

Byron (or just “By” for short) served for several years as a co-advisor to the Builders Club at Lewis Middle School, and also spent time as a co-editor of our club’s award-winning monthly newsletter, the “G.A.G. RAG.” During this time, Byron wrote a customized limerick for each member of the club. 

He was the chairman and founder of our club’s Conservation Committee, creating an annual art contest for local students to create their own poster to promote environmental awareness. He also served often as a club Director, Scholarship Committee judge, and Vice President. 

In October 2020, Byron was inducted into the William A. Dunlap Fellowship (#2,453), one of our Kiwanis District’s highest honors. This award recognizes some of the most dedicated leaders and volunteers in the Cal-Nev-Ha Kiwanis District. 

The following spring, Byron, along with three other WWII-era veterans from our club, received a plaque in recognition of his military service atop the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial in La Jolla. 

Byron was well-respected during his six decades as a professional optometrist, writing several articles for optometry magazines and serving as a mentor to many young proteges in the field. He also served as the main editor of one of the nation's top optometric magazines, and in 1980 was named O.D. of the Year by the California Optometric Association, the organization’s top honor. 

In 2012, Byron published his book, “A Romp Through an Eye Examination,” a collection of some of the most humorous and memorable moments in his career. Byron also maintained a website called “The Humor Factory,” where he collected some of his favorite jokes. Ever ready with a story or anecdote for any situation, Byron provided the “Steve Wrischnik Memorial Joke” at our club meetings for a decade, as a tribute to another one of our club’s favorite humorists. 

Byron lived his life in service to others, whether volunteering as a member of Kiwanis, helping our nation through times of war with the United States Army, or helping thousands upon thousands of patients restore and reclaim their eyesight. 

At his final Kiwanis meeting, on Thursday, January 25th, his last statement was that his goal in life was to make somebody laugh every day.