Donald Newsome

January 5, 2009


Ahoskie, NC

Donald Newsome, 92, of Ahoskie died Monday, January 5, 2009 in Roanoke-Chowan Hospital. Mr. Newsome was born in Colerain, NC, a son of the late John and Minnie Newsome. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 59 years, Donna Aber Newsome; twin sister, Dorothy Ruffin; sister, Ruth Claire Savage and brother, Glover Newsome.

Survivors include three daughters, Anita Edmondson and husband, Ferrol, Tricia Horne and husband, Ed, all of Charlotte, Margaret Newsome of Boston, MA; grandchildren Heather Edmondson Tucker, of Charlotte,

Scott Edmondson of New York City; and great-grandchildren Andrew and Collin Tucker of Charlotte.

Mr. Newsome graduated from Oxford Orphanage. While there, he was one of four chosen to attend the 1934 World’s Fair in Chicago. He was President of his senior class and quarterback of the football team. In addition, he was on the track and baseball teams. He was chosen to tour the state for a year performing singing concerts. In 2007 he was included in a video documentary on lives influenced by the orphanage. At that time, he was the school’s oldest alumnus. After graduating from Oxford, Mr. Newsome went on to earn a BS from Wake Forest College and a Master’s Degree from East Carolina College.

In 1942 Mr. Newsome received his Ensign Commission at the US Naval Academy. He was then sent to the University of Illinois to study Diesel Engineering. It was there that he met his future bride. During the remainder of World War II, Mr. Newsome served on an LCI-G (Landing Craft Infantry Gunboat) in the Pacific Theater as an engineering officer, then as an

Executive Officer, and lastly as a Commanding Officer. After the war, Mr. Newsome served in the FBI in Kansas City, Kansas.

Mr. Newsome was a long time educator in the North Carolina Public School System. He served as Assistant Principal in Canton and Principal of both Harrelsville High School and Ahoskie Graded School.

He was a member of The First Baptist Church of Ahoskie. He also served as President of the Kiwanis Club.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 AM Thursday, January 8, 2009 at the First Baptist Church of Ahoskie, with the Reverend Doctor Jesse J. Croom officiating. The Family will receive friends at Garrett Funeral Home in Ahoskie from 6:00 until 8:00 PM on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 and at the home. Memorial donations may be made to The First Baptist Church of Ahoskie, P.O. Box 649, Ahoskie, NC 27910, or to The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford, 600 College Street, Oxford, NC 27565.

Family and friends may express condolences and sign the online guestbook by visiting

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Grady & Sophia
15 years ago

It has been a long time I know, but my thoughts are with all of you and we hope you are doing well. I have this new VISTA program in my computer and I am now getting to where I can fine something.

Love to all


Judy Hepner Hughson
15 years ago

We have lived outside of North

Carolina for 40 years and don’t

keep up with the Ahoskie news very

well, but was sad to see Donald Newsome’s obit. I remember him well

as a kind, considerate teacher that

was extra special to a new student

that had been moved to a new school

half way through her Sophomore year.

He was also my husbands teacher and

was thought a lot of by him also.

Our sympathy goes out to this special

man’s family.

John & Judy Hughson

Melba Terry Phillips
15 years ago

Dear Tricia and family,

I am so sorry to hear about the death of Mr. Newsome. He was a wonderful, Christian man. The last time I spoke with him was in Ahoskie at Guardian Care on one of my many visits to see my Mom. He always had a smile and a kind word for visitors. He was my principal in elementary school. As a small child, I remember thinking how cool it was to have a principal with a twin. He was a very special man and will be greatly missed. My sympathy and prayers go out to his family.

Kay Byrd
15 years ago

So sorry to hear about your Dad. He was such a sweet, dear man. My prayers are with all of your family.

Mary Elisabeth Holloman Frost
15 years ago

Mr Newsome was both my principal and my math teacher at Harrellsville High School way back in the late fifties. I have taught my children what he taught me: One can do anything with the power of God and a belief in one’s self-worth.

I truly state that I have never known any man outside my family that had more influence for the good on my life than Mr. Newsome. He was in every way an honorable and decent man. About twelve years ago, I wrote him a letter telling him about how much he had influenced my life, and that my children had heard about him so often during the years. He replied with a letter that I deeply cherish and have kept in my “memory box”. About five years ago, I went home for a wedding and while there my daughter and I went to visit him. He was still “my Mr. Newsome”, greeting us with what seemed to be genuine pleasure. I had called beforehand, and he had gotten out pictures, clippings, and letters to show me. In the years that he was both my teacher and mentor, he had never mentioned all of the things he had done in his life, but that was his way. He was there to TEACH us, not tell us about himself. That visit, during which I got to meet his wife for the first time, made me realize even more what a wonderful man he was.

My family and I express deep condolences to Mr. Newsome’s family. You had a father and grandfather who influenced more people than you will ever know, and always for the good. May God bless you.

Mary Elisabeth Holloman Frost

Graduate of Harrellsville High in 1960.

PO Box 303

Baldwyn, MS 38824

Joanne Honeycutt
15 years ago

I have fond memories of Donald Newsome as the principal at Ahoskie Graded School when I was in school 40 years ago. It is simply amazing to me the life that can be lived beyond retirement. My prayers are with you as you adjust to the empty place that he leaves in your lives. May you all know the peace that only God can share.

Joanne Jenkins Honeycutt

Melanie Hopkins
15 years ago

I met Mr. Newsome for the first time 6 years ago, but I felt that I have known him all my life. My mother, Elisabeth Holloman Frost attended Harrellsville High School, and told me so much about him. He was the person she had talked about so much when we finally met. I wanted you to know how much he meant to my mother. Both of us send our thoughts and prayers.

Melanie Hopkins

J. C. Knowles
15 years ago

In behalf of the Oxford Orphanage Alumni Association I wish to extend to you our deepest sorrow of Donald’s passing. We shall make note of his passing in our upcoming newsletter and list hios name in our Archives along with his obituary.

Our prayers are with you in the days ahead.

J. C. Knowles

Alumni of Oxford Orphanage

Editor: The Spotlight and Past President