Opal Newsam

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Opal Nadine Newsam, 95, of Lee's Summit, Mo., formerly of Jefferson City, died Wednesday, January 20, 2010, at John Knox Village Care Center in Lee's Summit. She was born on January 13, 1915, in Callaway County, the daughter of the late John Lewis and Effie May Farmer Adkison. She was married on April 25, 1953, in Jefferson City, to David Richard Newsam, who died on April 18, 2009. Mrs. Newsam attended a four-room school in Holts Summit in her early years. A 1933 graduate of Jefferson City High School, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education from the University of Missouri in 1938. Her mother being an ardent disciplinarian and Opal being an active child, she often related stories of her mother's many trips to the tree behind the house to pull off small branches for switches. She also remembered taking trips to the Cole County Courthouse in Jefferson City where they had "indoor plumbing", a luxury not experienced on the Adkison farm for many years. Proud of her ancestral farm, she often talked about the windmill built in 1915 (the year of her birth) which lasted until it was purchased in 1994 by a local Holts Summit person who had admired it for many years. Restored, it still turns to this day. Her mother ran the farm after her father's death when Opal was 16. Their home was the first in south Callaway County to have a telephone. Electricity came in 1932 and indoor plumping in 1938. Following college graduation, Mrs. Newsam was hired by the Missouri School for the Deaf in Fulton to teach girls physical education and coach basketball, both of which required learning sign language. During World War II she took training in Physical Therapy at Walter Reed Hospital in order to help rehabilitate wounded soldiers. Later she worked with handicapped children in Jefferson City. She was employed with Missouri Employment Security for a while, and later as head bookkeeper with Sexton Ford where she met her future husband who owned a bakery and purchased Ford trucks. Mrs. Newsam was a past president of the Jefferson City Lioness Ladies; volunteered at Goshorn Handicapped Center; and enjoyed ocean cruising with her husband. The couple retired to John Knox Village in Lee's Summit in 2002. Survivors include one son, John (Susan) Newsam, Lee's Summit, Mo.; and four grandchildren, Leslie Newsam, Paige Newsam, Carl Turner, and Cole Turner; and one great-grandson, Kevin Turner. She was preceded in death by five brothers and five sisters. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m., Saturday, January 23, 2010, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, with the Rev. Msgr. Robert A. Kurwicki officiating. Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery. Visitation will be 4-6 p.m., Friday, January 22, at Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home with a prayer service at 6 p.m. Memorials are suggested to Alzheimer's Association, 2400 Bluff Creek Dr., Columbia, MO 65201; or to the Carmelite Monastery, 2201 W. Main St., Jefferson City, MO 65109. Those wishing to email condolences to the family may do so at

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