Alma Newsome


image of Alma Newsome

Alma Newsome

Alma Newsome was born Alma Elizabeth Ostrander on November 23, 1935, in Kalamazoo, MI. She was the last of seven children born to Raymond and Hazel Ostrander- all now deceased. During and just after World War II the family moved frequently throughout CA, OR, WA, and MI, and during those early years Alma became a Born-Again Christian.

Due to the moves Alma did not start school until she was 8 years old but soon she skipped several grades up to her own age group. The family joke was that once they arrived in Newport, WA the family bought a cow, so they had to settle down.

Alma graduated with her small senior class of about twenty from Newport High School in 1954.  She then left Newport to attend Seattle Pacific College in the fall of 1954 (Class of 1958). She met Don Newsome, a sophomore at SPC, (Class of 1957) at that time. She married Don at Central Baptist Church in Seattle on May 2, 1959, just a few days after Don was discharged from the US Army.

Alma graduated from SPC in 1960 with a BA in English. Her original major was education. However, as a senior she needed to student teach but since she was showing her pregnancy with Patty, she was not allowed to! Fortunately, she had enough credits in English and was able to switch majors her senior year.

In 1962 the Newsome family moved to the North end of Seattle. Alma taught kindergarten and first grade for several years. The family attended Haller Lake Baptist Church where Alma serving as the Sunday School Superintendent. She also conducted and ran a “Good News Club” out of her home.

In 1968 the family left Seattle to move to Van Nuys, CA. Alma substitute taught in elementary school until becoming a full-time teacher in the San Fernando Valley.

Alma enrolled in California State University Northridge in about 1973 to pursue a master’s degree.

After the family moved to Spokane, WA in 1975 she enrolled in Whitworth College in 1977 and completed her masters in 1982.  While in Spokane Valley Alma drove a school bus. She even delivered a new 66-seat school bus by driving it by herself across country from Alabama to Spokane during the winter.

The family moving back to Seattle in 1979. Soon after she began a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary in Seattle. She had completed two years of Greek and Hebrew, the most difficult part for most people, when Patty gave birth to Alma’s only grandchild, Quinn. Alma stepped in to help with Quinn because Patty had health issues that made Quinn’s care a challenge. Alma called herself the Granny Nanny! When it became clear that she was choosing to spend her time helping with Quinn instead of completing her MDiv, Alma said: “This is my choice for my life!” When Quinn was diagnosed with autism, Alma and Patty secured training to be autism therapists for his ABA home treatment. Alma spent many years applying her training and experience in education to the support of Quinn.

Alma went to work at Boeing Aerospace in 1985 where she worked as a Proposal Specialist. When Boeing Aerospace would bid on a government contracts, she would help the engineers that were hoping to work on that project write resumes. She worked on the International Space Station contract-which Boeing won. She also worked for about 8 weeks in England on a proposal. She retired in 1995.

In her last decade when she was limited by arthritis, Alma would quip, “I’ve now got a full-time job; I take care of a Little Old Lady”.  Right up to the end, Alma continued pursue her daily Bible reading in her Greek New Testament and make notes on each passage in a notebook. She enjoyed reading books and the newspaper and would often clip articles out with notes in the margins to send to Joe or post on the refrigerator. Alma’s life was filled with love for the small and less fortunate. She was passionate in her stand for fair and caring treatment for individuals’ society does not prioritize.

With family present as she passed, Alma died on March 24, 2022, in Kirkland, WA.

She is survived by her two children, Patty and Joe, and by her husband of nearly 63 years, Don.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday June 4, 2022, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  At New Hope Presbyterian Church, Fireside Room, 19800 108th Ave. SE, Kent, WA  98031


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