Everett Earl Newman, 97, of Pearland, Texas, passed away on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. He is preceded in death by his parents Ollie Reed and Earl Newman; wife, Drusilla Ann Richards Newman; son, Everett Earl Newman, Jr.; brothers, Lloyd Newman, Robert Newman; sisters Myrtle Rockfeller and Louise Knodel. Left to cherish Earl’s memory is his daughter, Druanna Helms and husband Terry; grandchildren, Christopher Newman, Andrew Newman, Clint Fisher, Reid Fisher, Preston Helms, Whitney Kosters, Kyle Fisher; nine great grandchildren; sisters, Dora Nuhn, Lenora “Sissy” Longfellow, Mary Lou Beasley; and a host of other family members and dear friends.
Earl was born on Galveston Island, Texas on July 16, 1920 to Ollie and Earl Newman. At age two his family moved to Kelly Field, Texas and after his father retired, the family moved to South San Antonio.
In high school, he participated in all school athletic activities, but according to Earl, with his small stature he did not have much of an impact in most athletic sports. His love of golf started while working as a caddy and continued the rest of his life. Even at the age of 65 he still carried a single digit handicap and continued to play golf for many more years and won a Gold Medal for the “Men’s Golf over 70” Senior Olympics in 1990.
He attended Texas State University, formerly Southwest Texas State Teachers College and received his pilot’s license while there. In 1941, Earl left college to join the Naval Air Force, and because he already had his pilot license he bypassed basic flight training and instead went straight to ship-based naval combat flight training. After graduating in 1942, from Pensacola Florida Naval Air Station, as a Naval Aviator, he was commissioned as an Ensign and later promoted to a Lieutenant in the United States Navy.
He served in the Navy for four years and was initially assigned to Air Group 11 on Guadalcanal and then assigned to Bombing Squadron 19, which was aboard the USS Lexington. During the battle of the Philippine Sea, Earl’s plane was shot down. During his naval career, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (with a cluster), Purple Heart, the Air Medal award (with 3 clusters) and the Presidential Unit Citation while on the USS Lexington. Now the “LadyLex” is dry-docked in Corpus Christi, Texas. Earl and his squadron was responsible for organizing the donations for restoration of the Ready Room which was used in the filming of the Pearl Harbor movie.
Earl’s first love was his family and he so loved being around them. He also had three other great loves; his memories as a young dive bomb pilot on board the USS Lexington during WWII, a great love of playing golf, and his love of gardening and nature.
Earl worked for Associates Financial Company for 36 years and retired as a Vice President and Regional Manager. After which and he and his wife moved to Country Place in Pearland, Texas where he became involved in many community projects and activities and earned the nicked name “The Mayor”. He so loved County Place and did everything he could to make it a better place for everyone to live; he was an early member and later President of County Place Foundation, Operations Director, founding member of the Men’s Golf Association, responsible for starting the Flag Program and Las Vegas Night, and President of Municipal Utility District #4.
He was also a volunteer for St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital Blood Drive program and would drive to high schools all over the Houston area and NASA to help, he loved being around younger people.
As Earl begin to slow down you could find him in the mornings drinking coffee with his donut and banana and reading the newspaper from front to back at his little table in the kitchen with dogs Toby and Gabby laying under the table waiting for a bit of his donut and a piece of banana. In the afternoon, he loved watching the western channel on TV, and in the evening, he was a dedicated Astros fan. He always loved sitting in his back yard next to the 4th hole tee box with a glass of wine analyzing each golfer’s swing and admiring how beautiful Country Place had become and what a blessed life he had.
In lieu of flowers, we are requesting donations to the Country Place Foundation for Earl Newman Park, in care of 3119 Flower Field Lane, Pearland Texas 77584.
A visitation and service for Earl will take place at Clayton Funeral Home, 5530 W Broadway, Pearland, Texas 77581, on Saturday, April 7, 2018. The visitation will be from 9:00 am to 10:00 am with the service beginning at 10:00 am with Reverend Barbara Fyffe officiating. Interment will take place on a later date at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.