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 www.oakeys.com