Dr. Dimple Newsome

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dr. Dimple M. Newsome, mother, wife, civic leader, educator, and
Christian was born March 8, 1921 in Lincoln County, North Carolina. She was the oldest of four children given to the union of Rev. Mark Murrill and Maggie Johnson.
Dr. Newsome was educated in the public schools of Hickory, NC. After graduating with honors from Ridgeview High School in 1939, she attended Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1943, she was awarded the Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies and subsequently, challenged the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law School for their policy of non-admission of blacks. As a result, she was awarded tuition grants to attend Howard University, which was the school of her choice. She would later continue her studies at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina and The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In 1983 her alma mater, Shaw University, conferred upon her the Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Dimple met the love of her life, Louis Earl Newsome from Ahoskie, NC, on a blind date. They married and settled in Ahoskie to begin a 61 year union that included the rearing of six children and a life-long commitment to each other, their families, and to a continuing effort to improve the lives of people in their community. Dimple was baptized at Friendship Baptist Church in Hickory at an early age and continued her devotion to Christian service, along side her husband, at New Ahoskie Baptist Church until her passing.
Dr. Newsome’s employment experiences are numerous and diverse. She taught Social Studies and served as a Counselor at the Ahoskie Middle School. Additionally, she taught at Blackwell Business College, Washington, D.C., John B. Bond School, Lewiston, North Carolina, and Robert L. Vann School, Ahoskie, North Carolina. She served as Director of Leisure Time Activities for Women’s Residence Halls at Howard University, Washington, D.C., Bluefield State College, Bluefield, West Virginia; and North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina.
A sampling of Dr. Newsome’s affiliations include: The New Ahoskie Baptist Church, where she was a member of the Board of Deaconesses, the Senior Missionary Circle, the Birthday Club, the Lydia Missionary Club, the Woman’s Kindergarten Club, and the Junior Missionary Circle to name a few, the National Education Association and its affiliates; Hertford County Political Action Committee for Education (PACE); Hertford County Unit of the North Carolina Association of Educators; Loyal Lady Ruler of Chowan Valley Assembly #268 Order of the Golden Circle; Rose of Sharon #611 Order of the Eastern Star; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Lambda Delta Omega Chapter; North Carolina State Federation of Negro Women’s Clubs; Hertford County Voter Registration Commission; The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Ahoskie Public Library Board; The Tri-County Shaw Club; and the Shaw University Board of Trustees. She also held leadership positions in many of the above activities. Additionally, Dr. Newsome is the Co-Author of The History of the Women’s Auxiliary to the West Roanoke Missionary Baptist Association.
Dr. Newsome was one of several local citizens who appeared before President John F. Kennedy’s commission on rural poverty for depressed people in the rural area of northeastern North Carolina. As a result of the commission’s final report, the area received over $165,000 as an incentive grant. The above accomplishment lead to the formation of the People’s Program on Poverty (PPOP), a cooperative program between state agencies and the President’s commission on rural poverty, which provided educational training to disadvantaged residents in the northeastern counties of North Carolina.
Primarily due to Dr. Newsome’s persistent solicitation efforts and leadership, the Tri County Shaw Club, consisting of Hertford, Bertie, and Gates counties, donated hundreds of thousands dollars to Shaw University during her years of affiliation.
In recognition of Dr. Newsome’s life-long service and philanthropy, the Shaw University board of trustees unanimously voted to re-name a women’s dormitory, The Dimple M. Newsome Living-Learning Hall, in her honor. On Friday, November 16, 2001, members of the board of trustees, the president of Shaw University, administrators, family members, friends, and fellow contributors unveiled a commemorative inscription on the outside wall of “Dimple Hall.” Speaking during the ceremony, Dr. Newsome thanked the many individuals who assisted her in helping provide a better education for the students of Shaw University. She also stated that, “If Shaw is to continue to provide a quality education to young people; we must continue to solicit financial support from grass-roots constituents.”
Dimple was equally proud to witness her nephew, by marriage, Dr. Clarence G. Newsome installed as the thirteenth president of Shaw University following his appointment to that position in February of 2003.
Dimple was a tremendous leader with a profound social conscience and a stubborn desire to effect positive social change. She was often sought out by family, friends, and colleagues for advice and counsel. Her gift of engaging conversation endeared her to many who benefited from her keen intellect, sharp wit, and genuine concern for their well being.
Dimple spent the last few weeks of her life in the comfort and care of the administration and residents of the Spring Arbor Residential Assisted Living Facility in Raleigh. NC in order to be near her son and daughter who live in the Raleigh area. She will be dearly missed.
Dr. Dimple M. Newsome passed on to a better life early in the morning of November 25, 2009 at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina; just seven months after the Lord called the love of her life, Louis Earl. She was the victim of a severe stroke. She died of a “broken heart.” She is now rejoined with her beloved husband. Also preceding her in death were her parents, the Reverend Mark Murrill and Maggie Johnson Murrill; a brother, Alfred Mayfield Murrill; a half brother, Benjamin McLean; and her sister, Ada Nae Cade.
She leaves behind many family members and countless devoted friends to cherish her memory and celebrate her life and times. These include three sons, Mark E. Newsome (Susan) of Bettendorf, Iowa, Louis A. Newsome (Leadon) of Apex, NC, and Timothy A. Newsome of Dallas, TX; three daughters, Mavola N. Phuse (Leon) of Cary, NC, Candyce E. Newsome of Ahoskie, NC, and Lillie Barbarajosie “Barbara” Newsome of Orlando, FL; one brother, Lawrence Neal Murrill of Hickory, NC; one brother-in-law, Carter W. Newsome (Mercedes) of Wilmington. NC; one sister-in-law, Juanita Yeates-Moore of Durham. NC; ten grandchildren. Eric Newsome (Crystal), Jessica Newsome (Reina), Al Newsome, Kevin Manning, Bridgette Newsome, Corey Phuse, Jia Manning, Matthew Newsome, Mileah Manning, and Gordon Newsome; one great-grandchild, Marcus Newsome, along with a host of loved nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and many other relatives and dear friends.
Funeral services were held on Sunday, Nov. 29 at New Ahoskie Baptist Church, Ahoskie, with Pastor C. David Stackhouse officiating. Burial took place at Highland Memorial Gardens, Ahoskie.
Reynolds Funeral Home, Ahoskie, handled the arrangements.