Delores Newlands, a valued and active member of the Social Concerns Committee at Kent Lutheran for the last several years, passed suddenly and peacefully into our loving God’s care on Friday, March 16. With her passion for justice, her compassion for those who struggle, and her joyous spirit, Delores brought good things to this committee in the way of participation and hard work, organizational skills, valuable ideas for bettering our faith and local communities, and generosity of time and resources. Delores had an infectious laugh, a mega-watt smile, and boundless energy for doing “God’s work” with “her hands.” She could be found doing any number of good works around church. She was always ready to lend a helping hand with our meals for the men’s or women’s HOME Programs, a KentHOPE project, our UNSALE, our September Day of Service projects, our Christmas and Easter collections for the ECEAP children next door, our committee’s contribution to the Lenten Prayer Stations, our shoe collection, advocating with our state and national legislators about important social justice issues, and any number of other good things. Delores was known to do Random Acts of Kindness on a regular basis, which inspired those of us who knew her well, to strive to be better people. As a final act of generosity, Delores was an organ donor.
Delores loved to have fun. She was a devoted Seahawk fan, and would often gather with friends to celebrate on Seahawk Sundays. She recently celebrated her 70th birthday with friends on Superbowl Sunday—it was a joyous event, and her laughter frequently rang out. She was a regular theater attender, concert-goer, traveler (she traveled to the Holy Land last spring), and book club attendee…she was active, vivacious, and a faithful friend and companion.
In December of 2016, Delores’ aunt who was very dear to her, and who lived in Detroit, suffered a stroke. After several months of getting her aunt’s affairs in order, Delores and her sister moved her aunt out here to be closer to them. She visited or called her aunt several times a week. Just another example of Delores’ compassionate care for others.
And there was a cat…simply called “Cat.” He was the roamer of the neighborhood, and Delores made sure he was fed, and that he had a warm place to stay when the weather turned cold. That was our Delores…always caring for others.
Delores’ two children, Scott and Samantha, were the lights of her life. She was so proud of them, and she loved them with all her heart. We know that Delores, and Drew, her beloved husband who preceded her in death, will be watching over them now. They will have a mighty advocate with God in their beloved mother.
As I drove to her home today, I tried to see through Delores’ eyes, what she would have seen…beautiful pink and white blossomed trees, bright daffodils poking their heads up, some in her yard, giant evergreens gracing the surrounding roadside, a horse in a side yard, sheep and goats lounging in the sun, and a sign that read…”Give someone a reason to smile today.” That’s what Delores Newlands did everyday—she gave “someone a reason to smile.” We are grateful for your faithful service, and we will miss you, Delores. May you rest in God’s eternal.