Thomas Lee Newell

3 febrero , 195631 mayo , 2021

On May 31, 2021, Thomas Lee Newell took his final job at the Pearly Gates in Heaven. Tommy had long-fought the brutal disease of Alzheimer’s. In the end, however, cancer was the ultimate reason for his death. At 65, he fought every step of the way to contain the cancer in his bladder, and though his spirit was strong his body was worn out. He spent his final days holding Barbara’s hand and having his family surround him in love, laughter and tears.

Tommy was born in Jackson, MS on February 3, 1956 and raised by Thomas and Bobbie Falls Newell. He married the love of his life, Barbara Yarborough, in 1979. Together, they raised 3 children: Ruthie Hamilton, Hope Holcomb and Scott Newell. Tommy’s 8 grandchildren and one great grandchild were his pride and joys. He is meeting 2 grandchildren in heaven. He can be described by his children as the rock of the family.

As an expert Mason, Tommy ran Newell Masonry Contractors for too many years to count and contributed to many works around Jackson, including buildings such as: Belhaven College, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, First Presbyterian Church/Day School, Jackson Fire Stations, post offices and police stations. Tommy never officially retired and continued tinkering around the neighborhood and back yard until Barbara told him it was time to sit down and drink some iced-tea. Tommy was known for ‘never meeting a stranger.’ His kind and gentle spirit was cherished by so many who worked with him or for him. Always seeking to serve others first, Tommy was the first to offer help and the last to take for himself.

Tommy is survived by his wife, Barbara Newell; Children, Ruthie Hamilton, Hope Holcomb and Scott Newell. As well as his father, Thomas Newell, sister, Linda Theriot and brother, Barry Newell. His grandchildren include Ashley and Matthew Hamilton; Brennan, Aiden and Tatum Holcomb; and Thomas, Tinsley and Palmer Newell; great-grandchild Luna Birdsong.

We will be celebrating Tommy's life and saying our temporary 'goodbyes' this Thursday. Please feel free to join us or be there in spirit:

Thursday, June 3, 2021 Parkway Funeral Home 1161 Highland Colony Parkway Ridgeland, MS 39157 Visitation: 1 - 2 pm Memorial Service: 2 pm

If you feel so moved, feel free to bless and support Barbara with notes, flowers, gift cards and/or a donation to Alzheimer’s Association.


  • Visitation

    jueves, 3 junio , 2021

  • Funeral Service

    jueves, 3 junio , 2021


Thomas Lee Newell


Pam Wissner Huston

2 junio , 2021

I’m sorry to say that I didn’t keep up with Tommy much after we graduated . He was one of my favorite people in high school. He was friendly and soft spoken and never had a bad word to say.

Tommy and I left Manhattan after 10th grade and went to Murrah our junior year - we had some classes together and we were even chemistry partners. We both realized we had made a mistake about leaving Manhattan and talked about how we couldn’t wait to get back there for our senior year.

I am sorry for your loss but hope you know that he is waiting on the other side for all loved ones to join him. God bless and keep y’all.

Pam Wissner Huston

Allen Bissell

2 junio , 2021

As we travel this road, we call life, our path intersects with others. Sometimes those crossings are fleeting and sometimes our path seem to intersect for a time and then run parallel for the rest of our lives.

I met Tommy Newell at Manhattan Academy. I am not sure exactly when or how, maybe it was the year I played football or maybe it was at his parent’s ceramic shop that my mom frequently visited, but however it was, Tommy and I became good friends. We engaged in your normal high school hi-jinks, pushed the limit on others and spent a great deal of our time just hanging out. We liked to tinker with our cars and maybe sneak a beer when no one was watching.

When I left for USM, I coerced Tommy into going with me. He did and our time at USM was more of the same. Tom didn’t do so well in school and after a year or two he decided to hang it up and come home. It wasn’t too long till he married Barbara and their life together began.

As these things happen, Tommy and I didn’t have a lot of communication over the last 40 years. I give Barbara and Elaine the credit for keeping us informed of what we were doing and how we were doing it.

When Barbara shared with us about Tommy’s Alzheimer, I wrote him a letter recalling one of our college misadventures. She shared with us that he enjoyed the letter and smiled about the story. I wish I had written him more letters.

Though I didn’t see Tommy often, I know these things about him. Tommy was a compassionate man. He loved his wife and his family like no other. Tommy was a real person who cared about others and was sincere in his relationships. Tommy was a loyal friend. Tommy was a fighter being first struck with early Alzheimer and then cancer but never giving up the struggle.

The world is not better off without Tommy. He was a good man, and he will be missed. I feel blessed that our paths crossed.