Kay Newman

Minnie Catherine “Kay” Thagard Newman died Monday, Sept. 13, 2021.

Mrs. Newman was the daughter of William James Thagard Sr. and Minnie Mae Simmons Thagard Tutchtone. She was married to James Allen Newman for 55 years.

She was the third in a succession of Minnies with each Minnie distinguished by a different middle name.

A native of Greenville, she graduated from Troy State University in 1964 with dreams of making it big in the world of business. She subsequently began a career as a mortgage loan processor and lived with friends in Birmingham.  There, she met her future husband at Ed Salem’s Drive In. After a six-month courtship, they were married. He was a native of Arab.

 They lived briefly in an apartment in Huntsville, while their house in the country just outside of Arab was being built.

She dabbled in gardening, faithfully attended Arab First Baptist Church, traveled about, cared for numerous animals, and enjoyed a beautiful (albeit distant) view of Guntersville Lake. She built a place for her family members to always call home.

During the summer of 1987, she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She battled this on and off for five years before successfully completing an autologous bone marrow transplant and finally achieving a “cure” for her cancer. Through her battle, she discovered a talent for encouraging and loving others through their own battles with cancer. Whether it was a friend or merely an acquaintance, she reached out in love and kinship to offer support, encouragement, and prayer whenever she learned of someone battling cancer. This was her life’s ministry and her legacy.

In September 2020, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. After a year of difficult treatments and procedures, she lost her battle.

She is survived by her husband: James Newman Sr.; son and daughter-in-law: James Allen and Erleide Newman; daughters and son-in-law: Minnie Edna Newman and Sharon Catherine and Scott Hurst.

She is preceded in death by a brother: William James “Bo” Thagard Jr.

A private graveside service was Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, at Brookwood Cemetery with David Kizziah officiating and Gober Funeral Chapel directing.

Memorials may be made to Arab First Baptist Church, American Cancer Society, or Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

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