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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.