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Tue, May 21

Obituary: Irene Marie Newman

Irene Marie Newman

Irene Marie Newman

Marie was born in 1923, in Southgate, California, the fifth of the ten children of Neftali Vasquez and Irene Fraijo Vasquez. She went to school in El Monte and Pasadena and graduated from Pasadena City College, lettering in field hockey and basketball.

She attended Los Angeles County School of Nursing for a year, then worked as a “Rosie the Riveter” for Lockheed Aircraft. In 1945 she enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps. At Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia, she worked as a nursing assistant and ambulance driver, meeting the ships bringing the wounded back from Europe.

At Camp Stoneman, California, she met 18-year-old Pvt. Dave Newman. They married in 1948. Dave and Marie were students on the GI bill at the University of Kentucky when their daughter Constance was born in 1950. Donna and David were born in Cleveland in 1951 and 1954.

Marie, Dave, and the kids lived in China Lake, California, from 1955 to 1966 except for two years in Hawaii. She became a lifeguard and water safety instructor, learned to sail, and worked as a substitute teacher. They moved to Huntington Beach, where she worked for JC Penney, selling and repairing watches and cameras.

In 1970 they moved to San Diego, where Marie joined ladies’ golf groups at five different courses. She organized a tennis club and with Dave, cruised and raced their sailboat as members of the San Diego Yacht Club.

Dave retired from Navy R & D Laboratories in 1983, and they spent a few years traveling. They were on the ground in all fifty states and all but two Canadian provinces and took cruises to Alaska, the Panama Canal, and the south Pacific.

In 1991 they moved to Prescott, Arizona, to a home on the Antelope Hills golf course. Marie enjoyed living close to daughter Donna Grossi and welcoming visits from Connie and David, her eight grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and extended family members. She doted on her rescued Greyhounds.

Marie loved classical music. She could recite all of The Raven, Invictus, and many of Shakespeare’s sonnets and soliloquies. She was an avid reader and was solving crossword puzzles up to her last days.

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Centennial Center on Clubhouse Drive in Prescott. The family thanks Maggie’s Hospice for their support. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Marie’s name to

Greyhound Pets of Arizona.

Information provided by survivors.

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