James William Newell
James W. "Jim" Newell, 87, passed away unexpectedly following rehabilitation from hip surgery on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 16, at Iles Funeral Homes, Westover Chapel in Des Moines, where the family will greet friends from 9:30 a.m. until the service time on Saturday. Burial will follow at Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery in Des Moines.
Jim was born on August 26, 1925, in Altoona, Iowa, to John William and Hazel Louise (Hirschman) Newell. He was a 1943 graduate of Bondurant High School. Jim enlisted in the Army Air Corps in September of 1943, at 18 years of age and served during WWII as a Staff Sergeant in the 566th Bomber Squadron, 389th Bomber Group. He was stationed in England and participated in the Central Europe Theater. Jim was an Armor Gunner, manning a 50-caliber machine gun as a waist gunner and in the ball turret of a B24 Liberator. His missions took him over the English Channel on bombing runs over Germany. He was honorably discharged from active duty in March 1946 and from the U.S. Air Force Reserve in January 1949. After returning from WWII, Jim married his high school sweetheart, Helen Heflin on August 31, 1946, and their marriage was blessed with four children. Jim graduated from Drake University with an undergraduate degree in Accounting and Finance. He then went on to Drake Law School and graduated with a Law Degree in June 1951. Jim and Helen were lifelong residents of Iowa, and had lived in Boone, Creston, Des Moines, Colfax and Pella. Jim retired from the Small Business Administration, of which he counseled small business owners throughout the state of Iowa. Because of this, he had a story to tell about almost every town in Iowa. Jim's hobby for many years was working on and trading cars. In retirement, Jim and Helen enjoyed following the lives and many activities of their children and grandchildren. For the last 11 years, they lived at Windsor Place Senior Apartments in Windsor Heights, which Jim affectionately dubbed 'the old folks hotel'.
He is survived and lovingly remembered by his wife of 67 years, Helen Newell; children, Jay Newell of Dallas, TX, Kyle (Ted) Groshong of Columbia, MO, Howard (Jena) Newell of Des Moines, and John (Karen) Newell of Ankeny; brother, Jack (Mary) Newell of Bondurant, IA; grandchildren, Keenan and Elling James "E.J." Newell of Dallas, TX, Paige Heisner of Santiago, Chile, Olivia Heisner of Columbia, MO, and Benjamin Newell of Des Moines; one aunt and several nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, John and Hazel Newell; and sister, Betty Thomsen.
The family has respectfully requested that any memorial contributions may be made to the
of Central Iowa.
Published in Des Moines Register on Mar. 15, 2013