Obituary for Oscar Winfred "Topper" Newell Jr.

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Oscar Winfred "Topper" Newell Jr.

February 12, 1925 - November 10, 2018

Oscar Winfred “Topper” Newell, Jr., age 93, of Decatur, passed away Saturday, November 10, 2018, peacefully and gracefully in the comfort of his home with the support of family and caregivers who loved and deeply cared for him.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, November 17, 2018 at Newell Chapel, 83313 M-51, Decatur, with Pastor Jim Abshagen and Very Rev. Robert Creagan officiating.  Burial will follow at Lakeside Cemetery with Military Rites conducted by VFW Post 6248 American Legion Post 309.  Friends may visit with the family from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM Friday, November 16, 2018 at Newell Chapel with a Masonic Service conducted at 7:45 PM on Friday.  Memorials may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or Decatur Athletic Boosters.  Those wishing to send a condolence online may do so at www.newellchapel.com.

Oscar was born February 12, 1925, in Kalamazoo, the son of Oscar and Bess (Taylor) Newell.  Topper was a graduate of Decatur Public Schools and a member of the 1942 State Basketball Championship team.  Upon graduation he enlisted in the Army Air Corp, achieved the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, and became a bomber pilot having many hours of flying time in the B-17, B-24, B- 25, B-26, and B-29 Superfortress, the largest bomber of WW II. He received an Honorable discharge on December 8, 1945,  returned home, and enrolled at Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago, Illinois, where he earned his Funeral Director’s degree in 1946. He worked several years with his father and brother, Wesley, at the Newell Funeral Home.

Topper was involved in many organizations in his lifetime which he thoroughly enjoyed. He was a member of the Masonic Blue Lodge of Dowagiac, the Scottish Rite, Saladin Temple of Grand Rapids, Shriners, Life Member of the Paw Paw Elks, and American Legion. He is the past president of the Webster Library Foundation, on the Board of Directors with First State Bank, past School Board Member, retired Decatur Volunteer Fireman, past Realtor, and Draft Board Member in the 1960’s. Topper became an Insurance Agent in the early 1950’s partnering with Robert Orr. He eventually purchased Robert’s share of the business and that was the beginning of the Newell Insurance Agency.

On April 18, 1946, Topper married the love of his life, Elaine Rae Brucer. Together they worked to build a family business, the Newell Insurance Agency. He felt so blessed to have his son and grandsons continue in the business.

Surviving are daughters, Susan (Craig) Stace and Vicki (Stefan) Ljung; son, Terry {Linda) Newell; grandchildren, Bradley (Hilary) Newell, Jay (Beth) Newell, Adam Newell, Henrik (Kristin) Ljung, Peter Ljung, Haven (Jon) Casaday, and Ashley (David) D’Amico. Also surviving are 11 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.  Topper was preceded in death by his wife, Elaine Rae Newell, his parents, Oscar & Bess Newell, and his 5 siblings, Beverly, Wesley, Iris, Byron, and Betty.

 

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Service Schedule

Visitation Information

Date: Friday, November 16, 2018

Time: 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Newell Chapel

Address:

83313 M-51
Decatur, Michigan 49045

| Map

A Masonic Service will be conducted Friday evening at 7:45 pm.


Service Information

Date: Saturday, November 17, 2018

Time: 11:00 am

Newell Chapel

Address:

83313 M-51
Decatur, Michigan 49045

| Map


Cemetery Information

Date: Saturday, November 17, 2018

Burial will be at Lakeside Cemetery with Military Rites conducted by VFW Post 6248 American Legion Post 309 following the service.


Memorial Information

Memorials may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or Decatur Athletic Boosters.


 

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Timeline for Oscar Winfred Newell

Born: February 12, 1925
Died: November 10, 2018

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