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Bellville Times


After a lengthy illness, Mary Jo Newman is finally pain free and happy with her Lord and her parents, John and Helen (Hagan) Chilek, and father and mother-in-law; Carrell and Rosa Lee Newman,  who preceded her in death. She passed away on Feb. 16, 2010 at the age of 65

She was born in Reno, Nev. on Jan. 22, 1945 where her Dad was stationed in the Army. After the war, the proud parents came back to Hochheim, Texas with the first grandchild of both families named Mary Jo Chilek. On the family farm, Mary Jo grew up working and playing with lots of cousins; picking pecans and swimming in the Guadalupe River. She loved the trees and her family. “I was always happy to be home.”

A graduate from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Mrs. Newman first came to Bellville to teach home-making at Bellville High School. Through dedication to her students, she touched many lives in the community. By her retirement, she had proudly taught high school fifteen years and then Spicer Kindergarten an additional fifteen years. She could have written a book on the experiences with her students and the grand friendships with her fellow teachers.

In her early life, there were family rosaries, regular attendance at her country church called St. Ann’s, twelve years of education at St. Joseph’s School and college at Our lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. Perhaps these experiences had something to do with her profound faith in God. Her sister remembers Mary Jo often reminding her to “look for God in the little things. He is always watching out for us. Trust Him.” Her deep faith and God’s faith in her never wavered, even through thirty-five years of suffering with multiple sclerosis and after developing a terminal disease two years ago.

Always first in her mind and heart were her two men. She would tell people that she met them both in May. First she met C. J. “Butch” Newman, in May after she began teaching in Bellville - the love of her life for forty years. Then on May 13, 1978, their son was born - Joseph Matthew Newman; now Dr. Joseph Newman practicing medicine with his wife Dr. Trichelle Newman in Texas.

Mary Jo is also survived by her sister, Nancy Estes and her sons, John P. Little and Michael T. Little and wife Gracie. Also by her sister-in-law, Pattie Burgess and husband Paul; Sherry Lehman, her husband David is deceased; and Lisa Schwarze and husband Bradley. Brother-in-law; Maurice Newman and wife Gail and numerous other nieces and nephews, and other relatives.

Funeral Mass was conducted from the St. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church, 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 19, 2010, with the Rev. Tim Bucek and the Rev. Don Rupert, co-celebrants.

The family gathered with friends before leaving for Yoakum. Graveside services at 2:30 p.m, at St. Ann’s Catholic Cemetery in Yoakum.

Family gathered with friends following the graveside service. 

Pallbearers were; John Paul Little, Michael Little, Jimmy Mudd, Glen Chilek, Wayne Hoffer and Van Morrow.

Visitation was held from 5 - 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010 at the Knesek Bros Funeral Chapel, 832 E Main, Bellville, TX.

Memorial may be made to the charity of ones choice. Funeral arrangements were handled through the Knesek Bros Funeral Chapel in Bellville.


Posted by Joy Neely


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