Obituary for Anabel Newman
Anabel Powell Newman was doing what she loved to do - napping a bit, writing a bit, thinking about the future, and reflecting on the spirit in her life and in the world.
She had underlined a Bible passage in the Christian Science Bible Lesson for the week: "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever:"
She was writing in her journal, thinking about going to arts and crafts, napping a bit, and peacefully passed away, pen firmly in hand, as befits a writer and teacher.
Anabel was proud of her family’s heritage, which spanned from the Midwest to the great Northwest. Born in Mabton, Washington, she grew up partly on a farm and partly in the city, her family (mother Iva, brothers Chester and Gene) having moved after her father, Glen Rex Powell, died early and unexpectedly. The family pulled together, and Anabel learned thrift, resourcefulness, creativity, and love that continued throughout her long life.
Anabel studied at the University of Washington, The Principia College, University of Iowa, and SUNY Buffalo, ending up with a doctorate in language education and a career that took her to the White House, UNESCO, and other national leadership positions where she excelled. Despite this national and international exposure, she remained the person she was from Mabton, dedicated to making a difference in the world one person at a time. She was equally at home in the Oval Office with Barbara Bush, as she was in the backroom offices of the public library, tutoring one on one with students in the VITAL program here in Bloomington.
Anabel married Philip Newman in 1959, and they were married for 38 years. Their house was always filled with reading and music, as Phil was a composer and musicologist, with a particular affinity for Charles Ives. Anabel and Phil had the good fortune to live in a Frank Lloyd Wright house for a time in Buffalo, and eventually had a Wright-inspired design house built here in Bloomington, where Anabel continued to live after Phil passed away in 1996.
Active in many local and state organizations, perhaps her greatest community was the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Bloomington (Christian Science Church), where she was active and faithful for decades in church activities, Reading Room, and other aspects of the community.
Anabel is survived by family, friends, students, neighbors, tutees, and many, many people whose lives were enriched by her. She is preceded by both her brothers, her husband Phil, and her feline companion of over twenty years, Amie (who passed away just two months ago). Family remembering her include her nieces and nephews, including Hector, Gregory, Joanie, Rindy, Meghan and Bethany (great nieces), all of whom she held close to her heart.
Just a few days ago, Anabel went out with friends, and after dinner, she spoke of missing Amie. She also mentioned later having a dream, in which her husband, Phil, gone for a few decades now, was in a forest, up ahead - she caught up with him, and they walked on, holding hands. Anabel has caught up with him at last. She will be missed by all who knew her.
The Funeral Chapel of Powell and Deckard in Bloomington is handling arrangements.