Florence Newberry

Florence Howard Newberry

1927 - 2006

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Obituary of Florence Howard Newberry

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Florence Howard Newberry, 78, died Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at her home. Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 18, at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, with Dr. Phil Christopher officiating. There will be a visitation at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 17, 2006. Florence Howard Newberry was born on August 3rd, 1927 to Jasper Newton and Ethel May Howard in Sequoia, Oklahoma. She went home to be with the Lord Jesus on March 15, 2006. After raising her four children and working as an Aide in the Math Lab at Lincoln Junior High until she retired in 1994, Florence married Hollis Newberry, Lieutenant, Navy Seabees (Ret.) on September 24, 1997 and spent the happiest eight years of her life with "her buddy Hollis." They were faithful members at First Baptist Church in Abilene, and could always be seen cheering in the stands at every sporting event of "their teams" Wylie High, Abilene High, and Hardin-Simmons University. They were members of the Rose Park Senior Citizens Center, the PEP Club, and were charter members of the Abilene High School Booster Club. Florence was inducted as a Patroness of Sigma Alpha Iota, Gamma Phi Chapter, at Hardin-Simmons in 1973 and was a surrogate mother to many young women in the School of Music. Despite being born in Oklahoma, Florence rightly claimed to be a Native Texan because as she put it, she was conceived in Texas. Her family moved back to Buffalo Gap a few years after her birth, and she graduated from Wylie High School in 1944. She loved her state and her nation, was fiercely patriotic, and attended Hollis' WWII, Korea, and Vietnam reunions with immense delight. She was one of those rare persons who had a true zest for life, found humor in almost every situation, loved adventure, and carried everyone else along on her own tidal wave of enthusiasm. It was impossible not to smile and laugh when Florence was around. To describe her as an optimist just isn't enough – she was determined to love life and live joyously no matter what trials or hardships were put in her way, and she inspired all those who knew her. She was a petite 5'1", but her radiant smile, twinkling eyes, and animated voice energized whatever room she entered, and she was famous for her amazing hugs that stayed with you for days. Florence was a wonderful, one-of-a-kind mother with an endless supply of love to give – and she gave it to anyone who needed it, as her family, friends, and former students can confirm. She is survived by her husband Hollis Newberry, her children Greg Merrell and wife Maryellen of Idaho Falls, Idaho; Gary Merrell and wife Des of Sedalia, Colorado; Nancy Merrell-Robertson and husband Will Robertson of Roswell, Georgia; grandson Matt Merrell, wife Monica and great-granddaughter Ivey of Idaho Falls, Idaho; grandson Josh Merrell, wife Lee and great-granddaughter Lily of Stillwater, Oklahoma; granddaughter Maritza Merrell of Sedalia, Colorado; brothers Elmer and Kenneth Howard and sister Mary Louise Foster, many other dear family members, and hundreds of friends. She was preceded to glory in 1973 by her youngest daughter, Cathy Merrell, and by sisters Jewel and Virginia in recent years. She also had two stepsons, Bill and Bob Newberry, and four step-grandchildren, Jason and Jarod Newberry, Emily Gilmore, and Linsey Newberry. Her husband, her children, their spouses, her grandchildren and their spouses have all trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, and know that they will be reunited with her in heaven. Praise be to God.


Hamil Family Funeral Home 6449 Buffalo Gap Rd. Amarillo, TX 79606 Friday, March 17, 2006 5:00 to 7:00 pm


Aldersgate United Methodist Church 1741 Sayles Blvd. Abilene, TX 79605 Saturday, March 18, 2006 10:00 am


Elmwood Memorial Park 5750 Us Highway 277 S Abilene , TX 79606