Willie B. Newenham, 89, of East Moline, Illinois, died Wednesday, January 11, 2023, at Silver Cross Health and Rehab, Rock Island.
Services are 11:00 a.m. Monday, January 16, at First Baptist Church, Moline, with The Rev. Dr. Flint Miller officiating. The family will greet friends at a funeral luncheon immediately following services. Trimble Funeral Home & Crematory, Moline, is entrusted with arrangements. Memorials may be made to Delta Kappa Gamma. International Society, Beta Epsilon Chapter, Quad Cities.
The former Willie Bernice Oakley was born July 1l, 1933, in Raleigh, Tennessee, the daughter of William Marion and Burnie Bryan Oakley.
She retired from full time teaching in 1989 having taught for 22 years in the home economics department at United Township High School in East Moline. She began teaching at Dunlap, TN after acquiring a BS degree from the University of Tennessee. Following a move to Illinois, she taught at Newton and then Neoga.
An MS degree was awarded at SIU, Carbondale, where she then worked as an instructor for three years before coming to East Moline. After retiring at UT she worked as a substitute teacher for 13 years ending a 47 year career in education.
Willie was a member of First Baptist Church of Moline where she was active serving on various boards and committees beginning in 1955. She met Ron Newenham and they were married in the church in August of 1974.
Volunteering had always been a way of life for Willie. It was her greatest regret that health problems prevented her from continuing those activities. As a Deputy Registrar, she was seen frequently in UT hallways registering students to vote. She served as an election judge and also judged various 4-H programs as well as regularly helping out with the Special Olympics. She was a tutor for the Literacy is for Everyone program and had been chairman of the Upper Rock Island County American Cancer Society. Willie was a long-time member of the Playcrafter's Barn Theatre working the box office or painting sets.
She valued her time as an active member of PEO and Delta Kappa Gamma International, educational and philanthropic organizations for women. Other memberships included the National Education Association and the Illinois Retired Teacher's Association. Willie was an outgoing person who loved people and especially teaching and her students. She will be dearly missed. She is survived by her husband, Ron, sisters, Sarah Chambers, California, and Betty Hering, Arizona, brother-in-law, Harold (Aggie) Newenham of Rock Island; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
The family invites friends to share stories and condolences at TrimbleFuneralHomes.com.