Newsom Ellyson Via Jr.
1938 - 2020
{ "" }
Share Newsom's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share

Newsom Ellyson

October 27, 1938

October 13, 2020

Newsom Ellyson (NE) Via Jr. of Roanoke, Virginia, was called to his Heavenly home by the Lord Jesus as dawn was breaking over his beloved Blue Ridge Mountains on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

He began his life on October 27, 1938, as the fourth child to Newsom Ellyson Via Sr. and Effie Mae LaFoon Via in his family home on Mercer Avenue, Roanoke. After graduation from William Fleming High School and time as a student at Virginia Polytechnical Institute, NE followed his passion of joining the United States Air Force as a B-47 bomber avionics technician.

He married Agnes Glyn Rich in 1960 and they were blessed with two daughters. They chose Roanoke to raise their family and to be active in the community with participation in school organizations and their churches. As a family, they traveled the United States in their truck camper and always cultivated a large garden each summer which they shared with neighbors. NE also traveled globally on mission trips to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Thailand, Brazil and Uganda. NE and Agnes built their dream home named Glyn-Anne in the Hanging Rock area. It was the ultimate Do It Yourself (DIY) project as NE cleared the wooded acreage, developed the architectural plans, then the whole family participated in the construction and décor of their new home. Glyn-Anne was a place of delight for their grandchildren as well.

NE was a brilliant mechanic, a people person, and a Godly servant. He loved his career at Norfolk & Western Railway / Norfolk Southern. There he translated his mechanical skills from bomber jets to locomotives, and he was the Supervisor of Mechanics at Shaffer's Crossing Facility for over 30 years. After official retirement, NE continued to" work "at Northwest Hardware and Orange Market in Hanging Rock, but it was just to encourage his love of conversations with people. He was always willing to volunteer to assist anyone in any task; exercising his gift of servanthood truly brought him joy.

His love, Agnes, passed on to Heaven 13 years earlier than her sweetheart. NE and Agnes left a Godly legacy in their family, his daughter, Victoria Via McLaughlin and her husband, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Kevin McLaughlin of Bastrop, Texas, with their children, Meredith Young and husband, Jason Young, with sons, Samuel and Benjamin of Charlottesville, Va; Andrew McLaughlin of New Braunfels, Texas; SSgt William McLaughlin and his wife, Madeleine, with daughter, Cassidy, of San Antonio, Texas; and John Bryson McLaughlin, cadet student at Texas A&M University; and daughter, Ellyson Via Spickard and her husband, Mr. Gregory Spickard, of Fincastle, Va., with their sons, Seth and Ethan.

In 2011, NE was blessed to marry another Godly woman whom he treasured, Shirley Anne Lee of Roanoke. They enjoyed their summers with trips to New Hampshire and worshipping with friends at First Baptist Church. Together, NE and Shirley tackled NE's illnesses, and she provided him with enduring love and care.

NE's entire family is very thankful for the Salem Terrace Retirement Community Staff and the daily and personal care they provided him during his months as a resident. NE had a life well lived and well-loved focused on his family and serving our Lord Jesus.

The Graveside Funeral Service will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 17, 2020, at Evergreen Burial Park in Roanoke officiated by Dr. Bryan E. Smith, Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church in Roanoke, Va. Dr. Smith married NE and Shirley in 2011 and has been an important figure in the life of both NE and Shirley. Online condolences may be shared with the family at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Roanoke Times on Oct. 15, 2020.
Graveside service
11:00 AM
Evergreen Burial Park
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Oakey’s North Chapel - Roanoke
Not sure what to say?
9 entries
October 20, 2020
Dearest Shirley, we are just now hearing about the passing of your beloved N.E. We are so sorry for your loss. He was a dear friend and godly man. He always encouraged us in our ministry and supported us for many years. You will be in our prayers during this time. May the Lord hold you closely.
Rick and Janet Via
October 17, 2020
I attended grade school with NE many years ago. I remember him as such a sweet person I knew that he was destined to have a wonderful life. I am so happy that he did. Thoughts of comfort to his family. May God hold you close at this time.
Cathy Kline Hudson
October 17, 2020
My deepest sympathy to the family. NE was a cousin to my late husband John Tucker.
Marilyn Tucker tomblin
October 16, 2020
Thoughts and prayers too the family. I worked for Neil for many years.he was a fair man and a pleasure too work with.
Richard long
October 15, 2020
Loving Light Dishgarden
Send Flowers and Gifts
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
a loved one
October 15, 2020
In this most difficult time, may the treasured memories each of you have sustain and give you comfort during this time of sorrow. With deepest sympathy, Sue Spickard
Sue Spickard
October 15, 2020
We were so sad to hear of NE's passing. We met him and Agnes at Green Ridge Baptist Church many years ago. He and Agnes were wonderful role models for us as a younger couple raising two teenagers. NE was such a encourager for us during the hard times we endured with our son. We enjoyed having them share their home and many meals for our Sunday School class. We will never forget our friend. Our prayers are with your families during this time. Sam & Nancy
Nancy J Robinson
October 15, 2020
Thoughts and prayers to the family. I worked with Neal many years. He was a great man.
Craig Clark
October 15, 2020
N.E. was a very special person and will be sadly missed.
Barbara Reed
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences