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Tom Newman, 62

Tom Newman Obituary: Arlington Official Pushed for Ice Complex

Tom Newman spearheaded efforts to build a pair of skating rinks on top of an Arlington County parking garage.
Tom Newman spearheaded efforts to build a pair of skating rinks on top of an Arlington County parking garage. (Family Photo - Family Photo)
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By Matt Schudel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 27, 2009

Tom Newman, 62, an Arlington County economic development official who was the driving force behind the construction of an ice rink that is the practice facility of the Washington Capitals hockey team, died March 23 at the Powhatan Nursing Home in Falls Church after a series of strokes. He lived in Arlington.

Mr. Newman had been director of real estate development for Arlington's economic development office since 1999 and helped plan the Village at Shirlington retail complex and the Columbia Pike revitalization project.

A lifelong hockey fan and player, he spearheaded the county's efforts to build a pair of skating rinks on top of a parking garage, eight stories above the Ballston business district at North Glebe Road and North Randolph Street. They are the only full-size ice hockey rinks inside the Capital Beltway in Northern Virginia.

The $42 million project was completed in late 2006. Since then, the Capitals have used the facility, called the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, as the team office and practice site. They had previously practiced in Anne Arundel County. "It's the finest practice facility in the NHL," Capitals General Manager George McPhee told The Washington Post in 2006.

The Ballston complex also houses the front office of the Washington Mystics WNBA team. When the Capitals are not practicing, the twin rinks are used by the hockey teams of Georgetown and George Washington universities, six high schools and several youth leagues.

One of the schools that play at Kettler is Arlington's Yorktown High, whose hockey team was coached by Mr. Newman for the past six years.

"We used to practice at 5:30 a.m. in Reston," he said when Kettler opened. "Now we'll be able to practice after school."

Clyde Fairfax Newman III was born Nov. 5, 1946, in Philadelphia and was known as "Tom" from boyhood. He played hockey throughout his youth, graduated from Colorado College and received a master's degree in urban and regional planning from George Washington University in 1974.

He worked in land-use planning for the Montgomery County Council early in his career before becoming a project manager at the Oliver Carr Co., one of Washington's largest real estate developers. From 1982 to 1994, he was vice president for commercial development at Georgelas & Sons in McLean.

Before joining the Arlington County government, he was a manager with ARC International, which operated ice rinks in Maryland, Virginia and Michigan.

Mr. Newman played on adult hockey teams throughout his life and also enjoyed skiing, cooking and sailing his family's 39-foot sailboat, the Blue Angel, on the Chesapeake Bay. He read widely in history and biography and was often on the sidelines at his sons' sporting events, taking photographs. He coached youth soccer teams and was president of the Arlington Travel Soccer Club.

His marriage to Christine DeMoll ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 21 years, Amy Moll Newman of Arlington; two sons from his second marriage, William Newman of Oxford, Ohio, and Thomas Newman of Arlington; his father, Dr. Clyde F. Newman Jr. of Newtown Square, Pa.; and two brothers.

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