AHOSKIE – Robert Taylor Newsome, 96, passed away at his home Thursday, April 16, following a brief illness.
Due to the global Coronavirus outbreak, a graveside service will be held at 11 am Tuesday, April 21, 2020 in Ahoskie Cemetery. A memorial service will be scheduled when permitted.
Bob was born in Ahoskie on May 29, 1923, the son of Troy and Lena Newsome. Growing up in First Baptist Church and on the family farm, he learned the values that sustained him through a long and fruitful life.
He attended Wake Forest College (now university) until he was called into the U.S. Army during World War II. He and his lifelong friend, Fred Lowe, enlisted together and served shoulder to shoulder throughout their tour of duty with the 3014th Ordnance Company stateside and in England and France.
Bob was specially trained for the Allies’ mission to retrofit thousands of ordinary Army vehicles to make them amphibious. Using a newly developed, secret compound, he trained other soldiers to waterproof vehicles, enabling thousands to disembark from landing craft amid rough seas. The historic operation on the beaches at Normandy ensured the success of the D-Day invasion.
Once the war was won, Bob returned home to civilian life and soon met a young college girl in Raleigh, Dorothy (Dot) Phelps of Hurdle Mills. The two married in 1947 and later welcomed into their life two daughters, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. They were married 72 amazing years, inspiring family and friends with their shared mission of caring for others.
Bob’s career spanned decades, first with Ahoskie Wholesale Company where he was a partner and president. Upon retirement, he joined Ahoskie Fish and Produce. A few years later, he retired again to join the State Employees Credit Union, where he worked til age 90 and also served as a volunteer.
He was happiest when serving God, his family and his hometown, primarily as part of First Baptist Church as deacon, usher, Sunday School teacher and member of numerous committees. He enjoyed many fulfilling years with Ahoskie Kiwanis Club, where he was president and took part in many successful projects to better the community.
Bob was an enthusiastic partner with Dot in rearing their daughters. Later, the two fully embraced their roles as “grands,” crisscrossing the state to attend sports, theatre and music events, even into their 90s. They never missed a high school or college graduation.
In addition to Dot, Bob is survived by daughters Beth N. Nelson (Jimmy) of Greenville and Sandra N. Sheckells of Apex; grandchildren Jay, Suzanne and McKenna Nelson and Taylor, Tanner and Tripp Sheckells; great grandchildren Addison, Aubriella and Ellianna; sister Carolyn N. Pittman of Siler City and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his brothers, Troy W. Newsome and Alvin C. Newsome.
The family would like to recognize Bob’s faithful family physician, Dr. Julian Taylor, the Vidant Hospice team, 24/7 caregivers Becky Vinson, Jackie Freeman, Sandy Freeman and Sherry Felton, in addition to Dot and Bob’s housekeeper of nearly 40 years, Loretta Hardy.
In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes memorial gifts to First Baptist Church, PO Box 649, Ahoskie, NC 27910, which was the center of Bob’s life or online.by clicking here.
Garrett~Sykes Funeral Service, Ahoskie Chapel is handling the arrangements for the Newsome family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com.
As a boy, my father, Elbert C. Hill Jr., lived across the road from the Newsome family. Robert and he grew up together and, even years later, after my father had left Ahoskie for Miami, he always considered Robert one of his dearest lifelong friends. As children, my sister and I knew Robert and Dot and their daughters from our summer visits with our grandparents in Ahoskie. Years later, even after my grandparents and parents had passed, and I had relocated to the D.C. area, I saw Robert and Dot on my occasional visits to Ahoskie. They were always so welcoming, and so wonderful, making me feel so much at home in Ahoskie. Like so many others who have left their condolences, Robert was to me, one of the kindest and most special persons I have known. My heart goes out to Dot and the family – he will be missed.
I worked for Mr. Newsome at Ahoskie Wholesale back in the late 70’s, early 80’s. Enjoyed all my years working with him. He was a wonderful, kind person and great Boss. I even remember our interview…he made me feel relaxed and not nervous. I credit him for the profession that I am working today. He hired me without any experience as Accounts Receivable Bookkeeper. Have fond memories of Mr. Newsome. I can’t even reach for a piece of Scotch tape today without thinking of him. He taught me one inch of tape will do the same job as 4 inches of tape. So True! – LOL. The next thing…..He called everyone “Friend.” To this day, I do the same thing, I got it from him…”Hey Friend!” Wished I had of stopped by for a quick visit during one of my Ahoskie trips back home. My deepest condolences to Ms Dot, Beth, Sandra and family. Jesus has gained a “True Friend” for sure!
Dot and family, Ron and I are so sorry about Bob’s passing. We will always remember him as as very sweet soul. May God bless him and your family with peace. One day we hope to hear him in Heaven welcome us saying. “hello friend”.
mr bob was in my sunday school class at the church and he and i Earl Futrell rode to creekside nusing ho,me a many sundays for church he was a good man he will be missed prayers are on the way
Sending condolences to the whole family. I loved Mr. Newsome and of course Dot. To my dear friend Beth I am thinking of you. Although I cannot attend the graveside, I am keeping you all in my prayers. Love, Lisa
Dot and family, My deepest sympathy to you in the loss of your dear Bob. He was a kind, sweet man, always welcoming with a warm smile and eyes almost twinkling. I appreciated his service to our country and his dedication to his family, church and our town. He touched many lives in a positive way over the years and will be missed by many. Keep all those special memories close in your heart. May God grant you peace, rest and comfort in the days ahead. Warmest regards, Kay B. Edwards
Bill and I want you to know that we share in your loss. We truly loved Bob. He was such an inspiration and such a great example for others to follow. May God’s grace comfort you as you go through this time of loss. He is surely in God’s arms sharing in His fellowship.
Dot, you and Bob have been the most amazing people ever. You have been role
models for us all. I am so grateful for the time I have spent with you both. Bob was the best citizen of our country, state, and town. You are so loved!
Loved my neighbor and I will miss him dearly. RIP my dear friend.
Dot, there’s no doubt that you & Bob were & always will be so special to me & our dear sweet Tucker. I have so many fond, wonderful memories of the 4 of us sitting in your den & chatting about so many things. I loved hearing about all the different stories Bob would tell about his days in service as you really felt like you were right there with him. I know this is a very difficult time Dot for you & your family & has been even more so due to the current pandemic forcing some not to be able to be there with you at this time but please know we are there in spirit & are sending much love & prayers your way for you & your loving family. All my love, Brenda