Funeral arrangments are now confirmed for Demetrius Newton, a civil rights attorney who represented icons like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. before becoming the first black person to serve as speaker pro tem of the Alabama House. Newtow died Wednesday morning at age 85, according to Rep. John Rogers of Birmingham, a longtime friend.
Rep. Newton's funeral
arrangements are as follows:
Arrington Funeral Home
520 Cotton Ave.
Birmingham, Alabama 35211
1:00 pm to 6:00pm Friday –
September 13, 2013
Mt. Olive Baptist Church
5400 Avenue H
Fairfield, Alabama 35064
11:00 am Saturday – September 14, 2013
Newton was former city attorney for Birmingham and had served in the Legislature since 1986.
In the Legislature, he was an outspoken critic of Alabama's 1901 Constitution, which he described as too long and out-of date. Newton pushed for years for lawmakers to write a new constitution.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and members of the state Legislature say they remember Representative Demetrius Newton as a true gentleman and an effective public servant.
Bentley served for eight years with Newton in the House.
Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard said Newton was "an intelligent, fair and kind man."
Hubbard and President emeritus of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Charles Steele, say Newton's impact on the Civil Rights Movement will be a powerful part of Alabama history.
Democratic State Rep. Alvin Holmes says the state lost "a great public servant" with Newton's death.
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