August 22, 1961 – December 27, 2020
Tempest Newton Alabi-Isama, affectionately called “Missy” and “Temp” by her family and friends, was born on August 22, 1961 in Tucson, Arizona, to proud parents, William Newton, Jr. and Era Lee Christopher Gill. Her siblings, Stormy, Evod, Ginger “Gigi”, and Harvest, remember Tempest as a wonderful big sister, who was very nice and loving to them. They looked up to her as a great and worthy role model for her sterling character, good heart, respect for others, and her hard work throughout her life. They received their early spiritual foundation at Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, where their Grandmother, Gladys K. Newton, was an important spiritual influence in their spiritual growth and development. The family moved several times because her mother Era and Stepfather served in the United States Army.
Tempest attended public schools in Tucson and Houston. She was very athletic, and she was on the track team at Dowling Junior High School, where she distinguished herself as a rising star in the Art and Fashion Departments at Dowling. She continued to cultivate her gifts as a budding artist as a student at Lamar High School, where she graduated in 1979. While at Lamar, she presented many outstanding art exhibits and shows, and she was also presented as a Debutante by Zeta Phi Beta, Inc. to honor her academic excellence, sterling character, inner and outer beauty, and servant leadership.
Tempest excelled in her artistic pursuits as a dynamic student at The Art Institute of Houston, where she received the Associate’s Degree. She graduated from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree. During her college years, she had the distinct honor and privilege of being an exchange student on Africa’s Ivory Coast. She met and married Babatunde Alabi-Isama while they were students at TSU, and from their union, they had two beautiful daughters, Fiona Iyabode and Austin Gladys. Tempest was an exceptional single mother, who loved her daughters unconditionally and sacrificially. She modeled finer womanhood and dedicated service to others. She encouraged them to pursue their dreams, always reminding them that they could do anything they made up their minds to do.
She was a very adventurous person and quite a “free spirit”, venturing out exploring and engaging in unusual pursuits. She took them on many hikes in the mountains, trips to museums and other interesting places, always exposing them to extraordinary experiences in order to broaden their horizons. She loved to explore and discover new things, and encouraged them to do the same. Her robust laughter was infectious, and her great enthusiasm for life was contagious. She was always cracking jokes and saying and doing something funny, always lifting spirits and bringing smiles to faces. Tempest was the epitome of grace and graciousness. She was one of the kindest, sweetest, and greatest souls this side of heaven. She was so humble and unassuming, but she was also confident and outspoken. She wouldn’t take much from anyone. You were always better having been in her sweet presence, and she always left a lasting, positive impression on you. She will be greatly missed and her spirit will live on in our precious memories of her. She truly made a difference in so many lives, and her positive impact will long be remembered. Tempest had an impressive teaching career, with 22 years of dedicated service as a Master Teacher in Art, serving in schools in Massachusetts, Arizona, and Texas. She moved back to Houston, TX in 2016, and she joined Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church on July 30, 2017. Her faith in God and being connected to a faith community were top priorities for Tempest. She lived out her faith with love, joy, passion, excellence, and integrity in every area of her life, public and private. Her greatest passion in life, however, was creating art through drawing, painting, sculpting, and teaching art on all levels of instruction, Pre-K through the 12th Grade. She was about all things art! She cultivated in all of her beloved students a great love and appreciation for the visual arts and for the joy of creating. She specialized in bringing out the best in each one of them, and they knew she believed in them and in their ability to excel and to be the best they could be. She had a special love for her Special Education students, and she had an anointed gift for teaching them and bringing out their creative abilities.
In her arts initiatives and projects, Tempest regularly collaborated with other talented artists in Houston, and she presented many spectacular shows and exhibits of her works and the works of other gifted artists. She joined the faculty at Sharpstown High School in 2016, where she was a dedicated teacher up to the last 2 weeks of her earthly sojourn. Her phenomenal work ethic and great devotion to her students were awe-inspiring. She was so kindhearted and generous, and she provided whatever her students needed, often using her own financial resources to provide what they needed. She was always going and giving above and beyond what would normally be expected of a good teacher. It wasn’t just what she did; it was who she was. She was greatly loved by students, teachers, and administrators for her kind and caring ways, her gentle spirit, her humble spirit, and her warm and bright smile. To see her was to see her smiling. She was always smiling from the inside out, and she exuded joy in everything she said and did. One of the greatest things for which Tempest will be remembered was the valiant and heroic fight she fought in her 3-years battle with breast cancer. She never gave in to it and she never gave up in her fight. She remained focused, fearless, and positive, and she had a strong and determined mindset to overcome, no matter how agonizing were her symptoms. She persisted and insisted on continuing to teach throughout all of her treatments, sometimes during unbearable pain and fatigue, but she was totally committed to her daughters and to her students, and she did not want to leave her students without continuity of instruction and encouragement. It was only hospitalization in her last two weeks of life that stopped her vigilant mission of being a faithful and loving teacher to her students. Tempest truly loved life and she truly loved people. She was full of love, life, light, and laughs. What a beautiful life Tempest lived and what a tremendous legacy she left! She is gone, but she will never be forgotten!
Preceding Tempest in death were her Father, William Newton, Jr., Mother, Era Lee Christopher Newton, Stepfather, Walter Gill, and Grandparents, William Newton, Sr. and Gladys K. Newton, and Edgar and Ovatra Christopher.
She leaves to cherish her precious memory and carry on her great legacy of faith, family, and love for the Arts, her two loving and devoted Daughters: Fiona Iyabode Alabi-Isama and Austin Gladys Alabi-Isama, both of Houston, TX; her loving Goddaughter, Hailey Josette Davis Wright of Rosharon, TX; her loving Stepmother: Betty Gill of Katy, TX; her loving Godmother, Brenda Joyce Woods of Rosharon, TX; her loving Siblings: Stormy Newton of Las Vegas, NV; Evod Newton (Liselotte) of Los Angeles, CA; Ginger “Gigi” Newton Brown of Houston, TX; and Harvest Newton of Houston, TX; Nieces Sasha Alexandria Brown and her children Leah and London Willis, Shanice Williams Newton, and Jameka Newton; Great Nephews: Jay and Christopher Wickenhut; and a host of loving cousins, extended family members, friends, and associates.
Celebration of Life
Saturday, January 16, 2021
January 16, 2021
To the family of my niece Tempest:
I am the aunt of Tempest and Great aunt to Fiona and Austin.
May God's grace comfort you at this time...Tempest looks a lot like my sister her mom (Era) As a young girl I always admired her beauty I thought she was so beautiful, inside and out.. As she was 9 years older than myself and I am 9 years older than Tempest. When I looked at Tempest I saw Era it often made me cry due to I miss her sooooo much and have such wonderful memories of her. Tempest and I have been fighting this terrible disease together for the last 9 -10 months... Tempest would tell me that we'd get well and go on vacation to the islands somewhere.....smile....Well Tempest when that day comes we will celebrate.. You will be missed here on earth But you are rejoicing in Heaven we had such wonderful talks i was with you last January and we went shopping and had lunch.. So Fiona and Austin you were Blessed to have such a wonderful mom. you have her in your hearts forever.. God be with you and Bless you ...if you need me call me and I will check on you...Love you with all my heart.
Bobbie J. Davidson
January 9, 2021
RIP , Miss. Tempest,
I enjoyed observing her awesome talents being taught in her classroom. She was a beautiful stellar individual, that care about her students learning as well as appreciation for art. I truly enjoyed observing her gifts being shared with not only her students but, me as well.
Condolences to her family and friends.
RIP Miss. Tempest you’ve answered your final call.
God Bless, Amen 🙏🏽
January 7, 2021
I didn’t get to know her I just get to know her for few months she was the most kind person I ever have meet in my life she was there for me all the time we talked a lot of things when the class finished she so nice she told me so many story’s she teach me a lot she was even trying to convince me to go to college she even convince me to do digital art she so was nice with everyone I’m really sorry for your lost we all miss her in the school and we will always gonna miss her she will be in my heart for ever. I will never gonna forget you ms tempest ❤️.
December 29, 2020
I also have videos of her dancing in class but I can’t find a way to shared it, if one of her family members wants does videos please feel free to contact me or message me at;
I’m thankful for her ❤️ From the bottom of my heart my condolences to the family and remember she’s one of our angels who are taking care of us from above ❤️