John E Newman
May 23, 1916 - Sept. 10, 2011
Long-time resident of Redwood City
John E Newman died unexpectedly at home on September 10, 2011 at the age of 95. He was born in Winnipeg, Canada and spent his early years in Butte, MT. His father died when he was 9 and John became "the man of the family". He took the job seriously, always looking out for his mother and his younger brother. They moved several times before settling in Redwood City when John was 14. A lifetime later he could still recall the first four men he met when they arrived in town, and the neighbor man who taught him how to use a saw.
John graduated from Sequoia High in 1934 having lettered in water polo & swimming. He took a job with New York Life Insurance in San Francisco, which was saved for him by his father's employer in order to support the family. He briefly took a promotion in Stockton before he returned to RWC when his mother became ill. At the age of 26 he enlisted in the Navy, first attending sonar school in Florida and ending his duty four years later as Quartermaster of the USS Niblack, surviving plenty of action in the Mediterranean. In 1947 he married Margaret (Peggy Lou) Doxsee and they moved into the home they built in Palomar Park. John returned the goodness he had been shown long ago and taught the neighbor boys how to make adobe bricks.
During John's career with New York Life, then as VP for San Mateo County Title Co, and lastly self-employed in commercial real estate, he held numerous civic, business and humanitarian positions. He was so active in the development of the Peninsula that friends referred to him as "the man who built San Mateo County". Local places from Pete's Harbor to Butano Park and Foster City - John considered the people they were named after his friends. He was chairman of the 1951 RWC Centennial Celebration, the 1950 American Red Cross chapter fund drive, and several early area business climate surveys. He was president of RWC Kiwanas and a 50-year Shriner. Back on "the hill" he was an integral part of the early development of Palomar Park, working on the road and water committees. For fun he enjoyed his fishing trips, once catching a record 55¼lb salmon in the Smith River.
He was a man of integrity who felt a genuine responsibility for the widows and orphans of his community and made sure they were cared for - anonymously. He was nicknamed "Honest John" because people knew he was a man of his word. He did his duty to his country in WWII, but rarely spoke of it and never sought Veteran's benefits. He was a rare person. Though we miss him we are glad that he is now enjoying the presence of both his earthly and Heavenly fathers.
John E Newman was survived by his wife of 64 years, and is survived by his children: John M Newman (Maritxu); Nancy N McKenzie (David); Janet L Sclar (Trace), and grandsons Jimmy and Tommy McKenzie. He is also survived by sister-in-law Kitty Newman, niece Tish Busselle (Jim), nephew John H Newman (Nancy), and nephew-in-law Larry Abramson and their families. He was pre-deceased by brother Al W Newman, brother-in-law Clarence (Bud) Doxsee, and niece Caroline Newman. Memorial gifts can be sent to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, 85 Second St, 7th Fl, San Francisco, CA 94105, or Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Dr, Tampa, FL 33607.
Margaret (Peggy Lou) Doxsee Newman
July 23, 1921 - March 24, 2012
Life-long Resident of Redwood City
Peggy Newman died on Saturday, March 24, 2012, at the age of 90. She was preceded in death by her husband, John E Newman, six months prior. Peggy had just returned to her home after spending the last few months visiting her daughters. Her roots ran deep for the Redwood City area having lived her entire life in only 3 houses that were all within 2 miles of each other. During her lifetime she saw many changes to the Peninsula and she was often called upon as a historian to help with local articles and books about the area. Peggy's families were all active in Redwood City as was she. Her maternal grandfather, Rev. CH Stevens, was a minister for the 1st Congregational Church of Redwood City, where Peggy continued as an active member until her death. Her father, Wilbur H Doxsee, coined Redwood City's slogan "Climate Best by Government Test", was involved in securing the current site for the local YMCA, and was instrumental in guiding the family business (San Mateo County Title - now First American) through the Depression.
Peggy graduated from Sequoia High School in 1938 where she was a member of the Treble Clef Singers. She attended San Jose State, transferred to University of Oregon in 1940, but moved home when WWII broke out. She graduated from UCLA in 1943 with a BA degree focusing on early childhood education.
When Peggy married John E Newman on October 19, 1947, they moved into the adobe home with tile roof they built in Palomar Park, residing there 64 years until their deaths. Peggy spent her life taking care of others, raising a family and tending to her home and garden, which she loved. She was a charter member of the Palomar Park Garden Club, which began in 1948, and served in many different capacities for this club during her years "living on the hill".
Peggy Newman is survived by her children: John M Newman and wife Maritxu of Antioch; Nancy N McKenzie and husband David of Auburn; Janet L Sclar and husband Trace of Hydesville, and grandsons Jimmy & Tommy McKenzie of Auburn. Peggy is also survived by her sister-in-law, Kitty Newman, niece Tish Busselle (Jim) of San Mateo, nephew John H Newman (Nancy) of San Carlos, nephew-in-law Larry Abramson of Washington DC, and their families. Peggy was preceded in death by her husband John, her brother, Clarence (Bud) Doxsee, her brother in-law, Al W Newman and her niece, Caroline Newman.
Peggy had a true love of the area and its history, her home, her family, her neighbors and her friends. She never stopped learning, or being involved, and was a true role model for all with her caring heart and acceptance of everyone. She will long be remembered for her handwritten notes and cards that she so freely shared with others.
There will be a memorial service to celebrate Peggy's life on Saturday, May 19 at 2 PM, at the Community United Congregational Church, 1336 Arroyo St., San Carlos. While Peggy supported many charitable organizations and groups, the family suggests donations made in her memory to the Yosemite Conservancy, 101 Montgomery Street, Suite 1700, San Francisco, CA 94104, or Compassion Radio, PO Box 2770, Orange, CA 92859.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on May 6, 2012