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Obituary – John L. Newberry

January 24, 2018

OLMITO – John L. Newberry, 85, entered into eternal rest with the Lord with family by his side on January 22, 2018. John was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia to Anton Leger and Josefine Rusicka in 1932. At 16, John was adopted by his aunt and came to Texas. His parents stayed behind, but he would later bring them to America. After high school he went on to Texas A & I University in Kingsville where he met the love of his life, Barbara Ann Bennett. They married in August of 1956. The following year John and Barbara had their one and only daughter, Sharron Ann. Called to active duty, John was deployed to Okinawa, Philippine Islands, and Laos. After his service in the Army, the family made their home in Olmito where he lived with his wife of 53 years, until she passed away in 2012.
In 1964, John joined the Texas National Guard where he became commander of Company A 3rd BN 141 INF in Brownsville. His company was cited for saving lives and property during Hurricane Beulah in 1967. John was very proud of his military career and moved up the ranks from Captain to Major in the Texas National Guard. His awards included the Meritorious Service Award, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Lone Star Distinguished Service Medal. After his retirement he joined the Texas State Guard and went on to be Lieutenant Colonel.
John also worked over 30 years in education. He was a well-loved math teacher and school bus driver. He taught in San Benito, Port Isabel, Los Fresnos, and Brownsville. “Johnny Bus”, as some fondly called him, would make his rounds early in the morning to pick up students, take them to school, teach all day, and then drive them home again. Students wanted to be in his class because Mr. Newberry always made math fun.
He earned his Master’s Degree in counseling and was on the faculty of University of Texas at Brownsville. Both he and his wife mentored those going into the field of education. He was also very proud to be the West Point Admission Representative for South Texas, interviewing young cadets.
John is survived by his daughter, Sharron Ann Guzman; grandsons, Charles Frederick Guzman and Kenneth John Guzman; two great-grandsons, Anthony and Benjamin Guzman; niece, Michele Bennett and nephew, Bruce Bennett. John was deeply loved and will be profoundly missed not only by his family and friends, but by all those fortunate enough to have known him.
Visitation was held on Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 4-8pm at Ric Brown Family Funeral Home in Mission. A funeral service will be held today, Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 12 noon at Ric Brown Family Funeral Home Chapel in Mission. Burial will follow at Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission.
Services are under the direction of Ric Brown Family Funeral Home in Mission.


January 24, 2018
Event Category:


  1. Irene Rodriguez

    Mr. Newberry was a wonderful teacher, May his family find comfort. God bless and RIP Mr. Newberry!

  2. Mary Graybill

    On behalf of the Graybill families of Los Fresnos and Olmito, we would like to extend our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to Sharon and the Newberry -Guzman family. Mr. Newberry was deeply admired and respected by our family. He was not only a teacher but a mentor to many of his students. He cared about his students and was there for anyone who needed anything. Rest In Peace Mr. Newberry, you are fondly remembered in our thoughts and hearts.

  3. Irma Arismendi

    Mr Newberry was a great teacher always made math fun He was a sweetheart.Sorry for ur loss Sharon my dad Rafael Loera too just passed and buried in same cemetary. Irma loera

  4. Armando vasquez

    My condolences

  5. Everardo Zamora

    He will be missed he was my Math teacher in middle school. And his daughter my English teacher in high school. Well respected family of educators. They don’t make them like Mr New Berry. May he Rest In Peace.

  6. Oralia Rivas-Landry

    Sharon my deepest sympathy to you and your family. I was honored to have Mr. Newberry as my math teacher. He and Mrs. Newberry were my mentors. They were two awesome beautiful individuals who cared deeply about education. Mr. Newberry was such an awesome person who deeply cared about his students. I am proud to have known such a sweet and wonderful man. May you Rest In Peace Mr. Newberry, you will be missed. Oralia Rivas-Landry

  7. Edna Cavazos Linwood

    I loved Mr. Newberry. He was my 7th grade math teacher at San Benito Junior High. He was a demanding teacher, wanting to get the best from us. But he was always understanding and kind. He made me WANT to do my best. Through the years I have wondered how he was doing. It is so wonderful to know that he had an exemplary life filled with love and service. My prayers are with his beloved family who will treasure his memory and legacy.

  8. Alice Vela Almaguer

    My condolences Sharon N. Guzman! Your dad was such a wonderful teacher & a great friend to all of us. He would drive. Us home everyday in elementary school in Olmito. Always cheerful either singing or whistling. He will be greatly remembered. R.I.P Mr. Newberry!

  9. Irma Pena

    My condolence! To the family, Mr.Newberry was a very kind helpful and caring person, he was my math teacher in Los Fresnos. I remember i would have trouble, with my math and he had so so much passion ,with me and he would always help me till I would get it right. He was one of my favorite teacher. I will always will remember him as a very nice caring, nice, funny, teacher.

  10. Cristela Pena

    My sincerest condolences to the Newberry family
    Worked with him in Los Fresnos

  11. Connie De Leon Garcia

    My condolences from The De Leon family from Olmito. Mr Newberry was the best school bus driver. We loved him and he will always be in our hearts. May he RIP.

  12. Mary VELA Loya

    We loved Johnny so much in Olmito. He was a great person with a big heart. He was fun and caring and made riding the bus fun. He participated in our cheer leader yells and was never mean to the students. Thank you Johnny for keeping us safe and for all that you did for us. Rest in Heavenly peace!❤

  13. Bonnie Delgado

    My deepest condolences to all his loved ones. Mr. Newberry was a true gentleman, respectable and very dedicated educator. I have wonderful memories of him from the good old days in Los Fresnos High School. He encouraged his students to do their best & to never give up.
    My condolences,
    Bonnie Delgado

  14. Martha Balboa Crixell

    My condolences to you and family Sharron. Your Dad was very special to me and my brothers. I have fond memories riding the school bus and having crazy fun conversations with my favorite bus driver. May he Rest In Peace..
    Martha Balboa-Olmito


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