Wednesday, June 9, 2010

She had a "Baby" Brother

Joy Anne Newcomer

December 28, 1943 - June 2, 2010

Joy Newcomer, 66, of Waldron passed away Wednesday, June 2, 2010, at home. She was born on December 28, 1943, in Hudson the daughter of Rex & Mildred (Bavin) Newcomer.

Joy lived most of her life in the Waldron area where she was a graduate of the Waldron High School. Joy earned a teaching degree at Eastern Michigan University. She retired from the Lakeville Community School (near Flint) in 1997, after thirty years of service.

Survivors include her parents, Rex & Mildred Newcomer of Waldron; a sister, Carol (Mike) Newcomer-Cox of Morenci; two brothers, John (Carol) Newcomer of Chantilly, Virginia, and Bill (Nancy) Newcomer of Ada; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be on Monday, June 7, 2010, at 11:00 AM at the Waldron First Church of Christ with minister Don Crain officiating. Burial will follow at the Waldron Cemetery. There will be a visitation on Sunday from 4 until 8 PM at the church.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Waldron First Church of Christ or to the Waldron District Library.years old,

Arrangements were through the Eagle Funeral Home-Charles Fink Chapel in Morenci.


On one of the bookshelves in our parent's house are three pictures together in a tri-fold picture frame. The picture on the right is a young boy about 2 1/2 years old. The center frame holds a picture of a young girl about 4 years old. There are two people in the frame on the left; a young girl about 6 years old is holding a bottle in her right hand for the baby laying on the pillow. Her left elbow rests on the pillow as she rests her head in the upheld hand. Her hair is long, hanging down below her shoulders.

The young girl holding the bottle for her baby brother is my sister Joy. The story is that at a very early age I worked hard at putting the grump in "grumpy". The only way they could get my picture taken was to have Joy give me the bottle. She was the oldest of the four of us and I was the youngest. The girl in the center picture was my other sister Carol, and the picture on the right was of my brother John.

This was during our early years when we lived on the Newcomer farmstead on Tuttle Rd. near Waldron, Michigan scarcely a few miles north of Ohio state line.

It was at this house where the alleged hammer incident took place. Joy and Carol had been playing on the enclosed porch. There was a little fuss about something or another, and all of a sudden a hammer was flying through the air and into the kitchen door window, breaking said window. That alleged incident aside, the two sisters remained friends.

The years went by. We now lived around the corner, down the road on the Hartley Rd. farm. Joy, being the oldest, was the first to get her drivers license. Dad didn't have to drive us kids to all the various things we needed to go to. Somewhere in those years, both Joy and Carol had been involved in 4-H. Joy had played clarinet in the band until she had to have braces. She then was in the percussion section.

I was now in Junior High. We had a study hall, and there were some Senior girls in that study hall. Joy was one of them. She was graduating from high school. At the Commencement program, she walked across the stage and received her diploma. There was an open house reception at our house afterwards.

Another four and a half years, and I sat with mom and dad at the commencement program at Eastern Michigan University. We watched Joy again cross a stage as she received her college diploma.

Joy never married. I remember her having one date with some brainy intellectual guy, but nothing came of it.

She loved her nieces and nephews who came along over the years, but her main legacy lives on in the children that passed through her 2nd grade classroom during her 30 some years of teaching. I find myself wondering how many of them went on to be doctors, teachers, engineers, lawyers, etc. She was at the same. school long enough to have some students who were children of previous students.

Eventually she retired and moved back to the Waldron area. She became involved in her church, helping out with the food pantry and Bible studies. She and a few of her friends would get together and they learned how to play Bridge. Her friend Sue mentioned to me about how Joy would trump her ace, keeping a straight face, then with a chuckle and grin playing the trump card.

Over the past year her health deteriorated. It became clear this was going to be it. She began to put her affairs in order. She told us she had made her peace with God, and was ready.

When we heard she had become bedridden, we changed our plans for the Memorial Day weekend, and went down home a week early. We visited with her knowing it was probably the last time we would see her alive in this world. We said our goodbye.

A week and a half latter while at work, I got the call...

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