PAXTON — Rufus Leroy Newsom, 85, of Paxton, died at 5:50 p.m. Friday, April 5, 2019, at his home.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 10, at Baier Family Funeral Services, 406 E. Pells St., Paxton, with the Rev. Tom Anders officiating. Burial will follow in Glen Cemetery in Paxton. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, at the funeral home.

Mr. Newsom was born in Harviell, Mo., on April 30, 1933, to Andrew and Allie Hodge Newsom. He married Virgie Ann Smith in Harviell, Mo., on June 7, 1952. She died Sept. 14, 2014.

Surviving are one daughter, Sandee Gale (Donald) Moore Jr. of Urbana; two sons, John Andrew “Andy” (Angie Hofer) Newsom of Manteno and Robert “Bob” Randall (Tonya Anderson) Newsom of Paxton; and six grandchildren, Austin (Carli Padgett) Newsom of Manteno, Allie (Marcus) Rinaldi of Noblesville, Ind., Aryn Newsom of Chicago, Adam Newsom of Manteno, Andrew Newsom of Normal and Randee Newsom of West Lafayette, Ind.; and one great-grandchild, Brooks Newsom of Manteno.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, George Marshall Newsom and Alfred Jackson “AJ” Newsom; his sister, Elva Partain; and his grandson, Scott William Stedwell.

Mr. Newsom grew up in rural Harviell, Mo., where at the age of 18 he met the love of his life, Virgie, while she was singing in the church choir. They were married for 62 wonderful years.  

Shortly after being married, Mr. Newsom was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served as a corporal in the 7th Army 63rd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion from 1953 to 1955 and was stationed in Germany.  

After the army, he and Virgie stayed in Paxton, where they raised their family.  

Mr. Newsom had a career as an autobody repairman and was well known for his superior abilities. When Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul closed, he was transferred to Wichita Falls, Texas. He and Virgie lived in Texas for four years before moving back to Paxton.  While in Texas, Mr. Newsom was a member of the Burkburnett Calvary Baptist Church, serving as trustee and helping out any where he was needed.

Mr. Newsom attended the Church of Christ in Paxton. He enjoyed camping with his wife at Wildwood Campground in Ellsworth, Ill., where they had a campsite for more than 40 years. He also enjoyed woodworking, hunting and fishing. He was an avid race car enthusiast.

For the past 25 years, Mr. Newsom had a hobby of repairing bicycles. Through this he was able to do his favorite pastime: talking about his children and his wife.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to an organization of the donor’s choice.

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