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Originally published: 2012-11-12 12:07:06
Last modified: 2012-11-12 12:07:06

Bobby Lynn Newman

Bobby Lynn Parnell Newman, an Air Force wife and mother, a school teacher, and a Christian, "slipped the surly bonds of earth" for the final time on Nov. 9, 2012, from her home outside Banner Elk.

Seventy-three years old, she was born and raised in Lumberton, the oldest child of Robert and Etura Parnell. A high school beauty queen, she graduated from Lumberton High in 1958 and from the Women's College of the University of North Carolina (now UNC-Greensboro) in 1962. She taught high school in High Point until marrying E.C. Newman in December 1963. She was a great school teacher and later taught in Texas, Florida, California, and Colorado.

In the military life she shared with her family, she moved frequently and lived in Nevada, Hawaii, South Carolina, Colorado, and multiple locations in Florida, Texas, California, and North Carolina. She set up housekeeping in over a dozen places, and made every one of them feel like home to her family. She taught at several of her children's schools and kept close tabs on her two children, Angela and Edwin. When they were toddlers, E.C. served for 18 months in Korea and Vietnam, and Lynn handled everything. To E.C., she was the strongest and most selfless person in the world, his best buddy, his greatest hero, his all-time MVP, and terrific wife of nearly 49 years.

She was a creative quilter. She loved animals and raised Arabian horses in California and Florida. She loved worshiping God with the Comfort Makers and the community of Banner Elk Presbyterian. Her greatest joys and most precious memories came from the family God gave her, her loving parents, Robert and Etura; nurturing grandparents; super siblings, Bob and Emily; her many wonderful aunts, uncles, and cousins; her husband, E.C.; her children, who served as evidence that she helped "improve the breed"; her remarkable grandchildren, Thomas, Bobby, Bennett, Max, and Shelby; plus many great in-laws, friends, and acquaintances.

For the final 14 years and 5 months of her life, she fought breast cancer without a whimper or a whine, with a smile on her face, and was an inspiration to patients, nurses, doctors, and everyone who knew of her condition. She had the most positive attitude imaginable. For her, the glass was never half-empty or half-full, but over-flowing. She believed her time in this world was like a mere nanosecond in God's whole scheme of things, but she felt blessed, added much, and enjoyed her part of the great adventure. And thanks be to Jesus, the Great Adventure will continue, and continue, and continue.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorials be made to the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church, Missions Committee, P.O. Box 158, Banner Elk, N.C. 28604, or to any charity of choice.

The memorial service for Lynn will be conducted at noon Nov. 14, 2012, in the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church, followed by visitation and a reception in the fellowship hall.

Words of comfort and memories may be shared with the family and viewed at

Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland is serving the Newman family.