Barrington – Ronnie S. Newman, 77, died Saturday, September 9, 2023, at HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence. Born and raised in Fall River, Massachusetts, she was the daughter of Charles and Shirley (Best) Soforenko.
During her married life, she lived in Westborough, Massachusetts; Spring, Texas; and, for the last 38 years, Barrington, Rhode Island.
She graduated from Lesley College in 1968.
After a Girl Scout trip to Switzerland in 1962, her self-proclaimed “raison d’etre” (reason for being) was to change the world for the better, one person at a time. In adulthood, she was dedicated to High School Exchange Programs, and, for 48 years was an accomplished local coordinator for several organizations (AFS; CIEE; and PanAtlantic).
She had the extraordinary ability to match foreign students with just the right local families, which, in many cases, created lifelong relationships between the host family; their exchange student; and their parents. She placed hundreds of students over the years and many of them, now adults with children, have remained an essential part of her life. In 2022, she received the CIEE Bridge Builder Award, in recognition of her years of dedication to improving international education and exchange.
Ronnie was an enthusiastic volunteer. She was one of the first volunteers with Waterfire in 1994 and, for many years assisted the staff at Encore, a consignment shop located in St. John’s Church in Barrington.
Additionally, she worked as an administrative assistant at Brown University for 22 years and as an events coordinator for the Rhode Island Historical Society. She was also one of the first participants in Look Ahead, a national research study, whose goal is to improve the care of older individuals with diabetes.
An avid world traveler, with an affinity for sunflowers; shoes; James Taylor; and basset hounds, Ronnie was a shining light in countless people’s lives.
She is remembered by Barry Newman, her husband of 52 years, and their cherished granddaughter, Elektra Newman. She was predeceased by her only child, Andrew Newman, in 2020.
A Celebration of Her Life will be held in the Spring of 2024.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to a charity of your choice.
Obituary was published by Shalom Memorial Chapel of Cranston, R.I.