Services have been set for Naomi â€œMomâ€ Newlin, age 89, of Roswell, who passed away on Oct. 16, 2010, at her home.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010, at LaGrone Funeral Chapel at 11 a.m., with Rev. Mathew Skariah officiating, with Reverend Troy Grant of Berrendo Baptist Church assisting. Burial will be at Memory Lawn, with lunch following at the Berrendo Baptist Church. Naomi was born on Feb. 8, 1921, near Wells, Neb., to M.C. and Pearl (Harris) Kidder.
She was married to Clarence Bernie Newlin, who has preceded her in death, as did a son, Ray William, and two sisters, Helen Amsberry and Joy Herring. Naomi was a school teacher, a rancher, and a lady with a big heart. Born and raised in a sod house in Cherry County, Neb., she attended school in a sod house school, finishing in Mullen, Neb., in 1938, then stayed at home to help her mother with the delivery of the last daughter, Faye. Naomi attended Normal Training for Teachers at Kearney, Neb., in 1939, and taught as the only teacher in a one-room rural school house for four years north of Ashby, Neb. She spent summers on Teacher Tours that furthered the education and introduced teachers to places such as Canada, western U.S., and the eastern seaboard.
Prior to marriage, she spent one more year teaching at the same school. Naomi was a proud member of the Womenâ€™s Army Corps from 1943- 1946, serving as a Supply Sergeant in Eisenhowerâ€™s command in the European theater. After being wounded in 1945, she subsequently was awarded the Purple Heart.
Throughout the rest of her life as a veteran, she held a membership in the Veterans of Foreign War and American Legion, and lived her life a true patriot. As a daughter of a homesteading family in the sandhills of western Nebraska, she met and married the son of homesteaders from eastern New Mexico, settling on the family ranch at Boaz in 1947.
The ranch was settled in 1903 by Clarence Newlinâ€™s parents and uncles. There she and Clarence raised their children, fought drought and numerous financial challenges, yet embraced the opportunity to share their home with many disadvantaged children needing a solid family, love and guidance. Enough hands to do any tough job, all the children learned responsibility, work ethic, sharing and teamwork. The family had its own 4- H Club and had awardwinning livestock in local fairs.
Many of these children and their descendants remained in touch with Naomi and kept her extended family engaged in many occupations throughout the U.S. In her lifetime she was awarded the Sertoma Club Service to Mankind Award, and she was nominated to the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Her love and care of others led her to write an average 20 letters per week to family and friends, and she sewed more than 1,000 quilts made of fabric scraps and tied with yarn which are still highly treasured by the recipients.
She was a member of Kenna Community Church and the Ladies Aide Society of Kenna, then later attended Berrendo Baptist Church in Roswell. She taught Sunday School for many years at these churches. Naomi is survived by a wide and extended family, including sons, Grant Newlin of Grants, Bern Newlin of Lovington, Vern Newlin of Roswell, Walter Newlin of Albuquerque; and her daughters: Rosemary Thomas of Ely, Nev., and Faunette Crymes of Mountain View, Ark. She is also survived by her brother, Kent Kidder of Lubbock, Texas; and sisters, Dorothy Higbee of Crescent, Iowa, Ada Leishman of Lakeside, Neb; Glenice Van Eaton of Henryetta, Okla., and Faye Boyles of Mullen, Neb, along with numerous grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.
She was mom to 43 foster kids and provided a loving foster home from 1960 to 1990. The family offers special thanks to Dawn Willis for her tender and loving care as a visiting home nurse; the New Mexico State Library for the Blind for sending her hundreds of audio books which kept her entertained after she lost her sight; and the Veterans Administration which provided her primary and extended health care for service related injuries since her release after World War II.
Also of special appreciation, many thanks to Lenore Metcalf for her partnership with Naomi the past nine years, and sister Glenice Van Eaton, partner in travels, kid-raising, and comfort. Pallbearers are Mike Thomas, Josh Thomas, Jerry Metcalf, Richard Torrez, Mike Van Eaton and Ben Newlin. Honorary pallbearers include the many other children and friends whose lives she touched. You may give your condolencs at: www.lagrone funeralchapels.com. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of LaGrone Funeral Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice, or to the Friends of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 1209 Camino Carlos Rey, Santa Fe, N.M., 87507.