The Obit For Bull Newsome

James Garland "Bull" Newsome Sr.

Published in Hickory Daily Record on December 18, 2010

NEWTON - James Garland "Bull" Newsome Sr., 82, of Newton, died Friday, Dec. 17, 2010, at the Palliative CareCenter & Hospice of Catawba Valley.

Born Oct. 22, 1928, in Greene County, he was the son of the late Garland Newsome and Annabelle Shirley Newsome Cates. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Janice Turpin.

He was a member of First United Methodist Church in Newton and a U.S. Army veteran. A coach, teacher and businessman who was loved by all who knew him.

"Bull" enjoyed the unusual distinction of having been successful on the playing fields in high school and at Lenoir-Rhyne College; as a basketball and football coach at the high school level; as head baseball coach at The Citadel; and as an official, having umpired the College World Series. He also made a significant mark on his community as founder and owner of a successful tire business.

Mr. Newsome led Wilson High School to the state high school football championship in 1946 and played in the Shrine Bowl following his senior year. His introduction to Catawba County came in 1948 when he enrolled at Lenoir-Rhyne College.

He co-captained the L-R football team in 1951 and the basketball team in 1952, making the All-North State Conference football team as a defensive guard in 1951, and was a second-team all-conference player in basketball, known for strong rebounding and defense. Legendary L-R coach and athletic director Clarence Stasavich considered Mr. Newsome to be one of the finest football players he ever coached.

His play at center led the Lenoir-Rhyne team to a win over the University of North Carolina basketball team at the inaugural event in the Hickory Foundation Center.

After graduating from Lenoir-Rhyne, Mr. Newsome worked with DeHart Motor Lines in Hickory and then served as a history teacher, athletic director and head football and basketball coach at Lucama High School in Lucama. He served a tour of duty in the U.S. Army at Ft. Jackson, S.C., from 1952 until 1954, then served as a teacher, coach and athletic director for the Caldwell County and Salisbury City School systems.

From 1958 until 1964, he served as assistant football coach and head baseball coach at The Citadel, before returning to Hickory in 1965.

Since his return to Catawba County, Mr. Newsome's accomplishments include three years as an official at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., after years of excellence as an umpire on the high school and college level. He was inducted into the Lenoir-Rhyne College Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.

Mr. Newsome has left an equally successful mark in the Hickory and Newton communities, first with DeHart Motor Lines as head of that trucking company's tire program, then as founder of Newsome Tire Company and Eastway Food Store of Newton.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Betty Lentz Newsome; sons, Jimmy Newsome Jr. and fiancee, Crissy Hamilton of Newton, Donny Newsome and wife, Darlene, of Laurens, S.C.; daughters, Kathy N. McAllister and husband, Tom, of Conover and Leighann N. McLaughlin and husband, Hugh, of Steamboat Streams, Colo.; grandchildren, Kindal Newsome, Beth Newsome, Jennifer Newsome, Kayla Newsome, Addison McLaughlin and Logan McLaughlin; and great-grandchildren, Abby Eubanks and Payton Eubanks.

A service of remembrance will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010, at First United Methodist Church. The Revs. David Greene and Lara Greene will officiate.

Military honors will be provided by the American Legion Post 16. The family will receive friends from 1 to 2:45 p.m. on Sunday at the church in the Gomedela room prior to the service.

Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 926, Newton, N.C. 28658; or to the Palliative CareCenter and Hospice of Catawba Valley, 3975 Robinson Road, Newton, N.C. 28658.

Condolences may be sent to the Newsome family at

The Newsome family has entrusted the funeral arrangements to Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home & Crematory of Newton.