Obituary: Deborah Susan Newman
Deborah Susan Newman, age 68, was welcomed into the arms of her Savior on May 14, 2019, at her home in Cottonwood, Arizona, surrounded by loving family.
Born the second daughter of Mary L. (Sanders) Wray and Phillip H. Wray, Debbie grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She graduated from Alta Loma High School in 1968 and began attending Chaffey College.
During college she worked at Broadway department store where she met the love of her life, Dale Newman. They married that same year and moved to Arizona shortly after and started a family. Within a few years they settled in Cottonwood, Arizona, and she began working within the Verde Valley educational system while simultaneously pursuing her bachelor and subsequent master degrees in education from Northern Arizona University.
She became known across the valley as “Miss Debbie” or “Mrs. Newman,” depending on the grade level she taught. Whether she was a preschool, 2nd, 3rd or 5th grade teacher, the office secretary or the librarian, Debbie had a heart for igniting the love of learning within every young person she met. She loved playing softball, singing in various ensembles at church, cooking old family favorites, laughing with friends, spending quality time with family on adventures, seeing as many destinations as possible and, most importantly, praising Jesus Christ in everything she did.
During the last 11 years of her life, Debbie fought and won several battles with cancer. It was, however, the complications of her most recent cancer treatment that carried her safely into the arms of her Savior.
Deborah Susan Newman is lovingly remembered by her husband and best friend of 48 years, Dale; son, Justin (Zoe Lopez); daughter Amanda (F. Kendall Sawyers); and four grandchildren Grace, Cora, Mary and Price “Dude” Newman. She is also sweetly treasured by her siblings Kathie (Ray) Knittle, Greg (Bobbie) Wiles and Beverly Wiles; sisters-in-law Donna Newman and Gayl Swartz.
Multiple nieces, nephews and their families also fondly remember the amazing impact she left on their lives. They include David (Sandy) Crozier, Liz (Marshall) Spevak, Joshua Wiles, Christopher (Nikki) Wiles, Jeremy Wiles, Wyndy Loisy, Millie (Mike) Custer, Jackie (Chuck) Hoisington, Danny (Jennifer) Thomas, Chris Helm, Tommy Helm, Kelly (Jake) Lang, Will Davis, Leslee (James) Niemi, Valeri (Brady) Bullard, Sarah Custer, Beau (Sophie) Bullard, Bridget Bullard and Gwen (William) Sanders. The generations that arise and call her blessed are numerous and all consider themselves far better for having known her.
A Celebration of Debbie’s life will be held at Verde Community Church, her home church of nearly 40 years, on June 1, 2019, at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made in her honor to any of the following organizations: The Leukemia Lymphoma Society, lls.org; The Raining Season, therainingseason.org; Tempe Preparatory Academy, tempeprep.org (eligible for annual Arizona tax credit); Verde Christian Academy, myvcacademy.com (eligible for annual Arizona tax credit).
Information provided by survivors.