A public celebration of life for Newt Kier will be held on Sept. 26, 2021, from 3 to 5:30 p.m., at the Royal Oaks Country Club, 8917 NE Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver, Washington. All are welcome, bring your memories and photos to share.
Newton Lee Kier (Newt or Coach) shared his energy, knowledge, and joy with family, friends, and students for nearly 91 years. During the 2020-21 holidays, he was singing Jingle Bells with enthusiasm, rooting for the Seahawks and completing his daily exercise routine. On Jan. 14, 2021, Newt passed away of natural causes in his sleep in the Seattle home he shared with daughter Lynn Kier. Family and friends who loved him dearly were with him in his final days.
Newt was born near Seattle, in White Center, Washington, on Jan. 25, 1930, to parents Mora and Daniel Kier. Highline High School is where Newt first made a name for himself on the Pirates football, basketball and baseball teams from 1943 to 1948. Newt went on to play college football at Washington State University in 1948 and 1949, and at Central Washington State College (CWSC) in 1950 and 1951. As a CWSC Wildcat, Newt was named to the All-Evergreen Conference Football Team as an offensive lineman.
After earning his bachelor of arts degree in education from CWSC, Newt married his college sweetheart Mary Chloe Coulter in 1952, and began his military service at Camp San Luis Obispo Army Base, California, where first daughter Annie was born in 1953. After his service ended, Newt returned to CWSC with his new family to earn his master of education degree in 1956. Newt’s first teaching and coaching jobs led the family to Clark County, Washington, where he and Mary celebrated the births of daughters Kay in 1957 and Lynn in 1961. The family settled down on “Teacher Street” in Battle Ground, where you could often hear Newt singing along to his jazz albums while he graded papers, developed football plays and pursued his post-grad studies. The Kier family enjoyed and still cherishes many close friends from Battle Ground. Newt and Mary divorced in 1984.
Newt’s dedication to teaching and coaching high school students began at Camas High School in 1956, then continued to gain momentum at Battle Ground High School (BGHS) from 1957 through 1977. Coach Kier taught psychology and successfully coached the BGHS varsity football and wrestling teams for more than 15 years. He inspired several of his students to become teachers and coaches. Newt continued to serve BGHS as a vice principal and the athletic and activities director, creating or expanding programs for all students including Title IV sports for girls, student government and music education. He embraced the opportunity to oversee so many daytime and evening activities attending practices, games, and performances until retiring in 1977 to recover from a heart attack. After recovery, Newt took on a new career as a realtor, but remained a supporter and fan of the BGHS jazz band and sports teams.
A lifelong athlete, while Newt began his real estate career, he also became a competitive golfer, winning several tournaments (and side wagers) in Washington and Oregon in the 1980s and 90s. Newt married Doris Abraham in 1985. They enjoyed organizing golf events at the Royal Oaks Country Club until they both retired and moved to Sun City, Arizona. in 1999. Newt and Doris hosted many visitors and reconnected with dear friends from Clark County and Seattle at the Sun City Elks Club. Newt golfed with his friends every day for many years and was a master at recounting humorous golf incidents. Newt’s beloved wife Doris preceded him in death in 2009.
Newt married Janice Paddock in 2014. They shared nostalgic memories of growing up in the same hometown and enjoyed traveling to Las Vegas, Disneyland, and Ambergris Cay, Belize. Newt and Janice moved to the Seattle area in 2018 to be closer to their families. You could often find them admiring views of the Puget Sound from behind a bucket of freshly steamed clams.
Newt enjoyed life and was grateful for his friends and family. He cherished conversations and storytelling and delighted in making people laugh. Newt is survived by wife Janice Kier; daughters Annie Kier-Vander Stoep, Kay Kier-Haggenjos, and Lynn Kier; sons-in-law Ken Vander Stoep and Jim Haggenjos; grandchildren Erin Vander Stoep, Leah Vander Stoep, Matt Kier, Jessalyn Haggenjos, Shawna Haggenjos, and Holly Haggenjos; grandsons-in-law Rick Massey, Corbett Barr, and Phillip Mehaffey; great-grandchildren Solomon Massey and Abraham Massey; and close friends Ken and Gina Witcher, and Tim and Suzie Dumas and their sons Grant, Gavin and Graham. Newt was preceded in death by his four older brothers Robert Kier, Roland Kier, Lyle Kier and Dale Kier.
The family wants to thank Newt’s professional caregiving team for the outstanding quality of care, fun and friendship they provided Newt and his family in his final days.
In lieu of flowers please contribute to Battle Ground High School athletics and activities, by contacting Cindy Brooks, ASB Office, at phone number 360-885- 6652.