Welcome to the memorial page for

Elva Sue (Mayes) Newhall

October 30, 1927 ~ December 20, 2017 (age 90)

Elva Sue Mayes Newhall, 90 years young, passed away December 20, 2017 after a long and fulfilling life.  She was born in Kinder, Louisiana to Dr. and Mrs. James W. Mayes.  Her parents passed away when she was young, and she moved to Ward, Arkansas to live with her sister, Dolly Scott.  She graduated from Bee Bee High School in Bee Bee, Arkansas and Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.  She then graduated from Barnes Hospital Medical Technology School in St. Louis, and then moved to New Orleans to establish a hematology lab at Tulane Medical School.  In New Orleans she met a dashing young resident, Joseph Newhall, M.D., and they were married in June of 1955.  They moved to Bradenton in 1959, and in 1963 they left Bradenton with their three young sons for Namkham, Burma where they worked with Dr. Gordon Seagrave, the Burma Surgeon, in his hospital near the Chinese border.  With the Burmese military's tightening grip on the country following Dr. Seagrave's death, the Newhall family, having adopted two additional sons and with a sixth on the way, returned to Bradenton in 1965.  Following her return, Sue wrote her book, "The Devil in God's Old Man" (Norton 1969), detailing the family's adventures living and working in Burma.  Sue was an active member of the Bradenton community, and was well known for her love of dogs and cats.  For many years she volunteered at the Humane Society of Manatee County, and her home was always open to strays and unwanted animals.  Sue and Joe also opened their home to several Rotary exchange students, with whom they maintained life-long relationships.  Sue was an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, P. E. O. International, and the Bradenton Rotary Club, which honored her as a Paul Harris Fellow.  She was a founding member of the local chapter of P. E. O. International and served several terms as its president.  She was an avid runner and participated in races well into her 70s. Most importantly, Sue was an extraordinary wife and mother, demonstrating remarkable patience and grace in raising six sons.  After her children left the nest, Sue and Joe spent their summers in Wolf Laurel, North Carolina and traveled extensively.  She was loved by all who knew her, and will be sorely missed. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, sister, Dolly Scott, brothers, Thomas and James Mayes, her sister-in-law, Patricia Newhall, and her beloved cat Lucille.  She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Joseph Newhall, M.D., sons, Tim Newhall of Tallahassee, Phil Newhall (Betsy) of Greenville, North Carolina, John Newhall of New Port Richey, Paul Newhall, James Newhall, and Jud Newhall of Bradenton, her "niece," Augusta Murray (Mark) of Howe-in-the-Hills, twelve grand children, and her Rotary exchange students, who consider her a surrogate mother. The family thanks care-givers extraordinaire Tonya Hofstadter, Melissa Salem, Fabulia Supplice, and Vicki AppleQuist, whose love and care made it possible for "Miss Sue" to remain in her home of over 50 years. We owe you all a great debt.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3011 19th Avenue W., Bradenton, FL 34205.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Sue's memory to the Humane Society of Manatee County.

Charitable donations may be made to:

Humane Society of Manatee County
2515 14th Street West, Bradenton FL 34205
Tel: 1-941-747-8808

 Service Information

- Memorial Service -
January 6, 2018

11:00 AM
Westminster Presbyterian Church
3011 19th Ave W
Bradenton, FL 34205

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