Sunday, January 16, 2005

Obituary: Irene Mary Newman

STOUGHTON - Irene Mary Newman, age 109, passed away on Friday, Jan. 14, 2005, at the Nazareth House. Irene was born on Feb. 5, 1895, in Madison, the daughter of Michael and Rosetta (Heim) Newman. Her maternal grandparents were early Dane County pioneers, arriving from Bavaria in Germany and settling on government land along Lake Mendota in Middleton two weeks after Wisconsin was admitted to the union in 1848. Her paternal grandparents arrived in Wisconsin in 1853 from Poseu, Poland, built their first house in the 200 block of North Broom Street, where Irene was born and lived until September of 1995. Her pioneer grandparents helped to establish Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, to which the Newmans were lifelong members. Irene attended Holy Redeemer Grade School, Central High School, and the University of Wisconsin, graduating in 1917 with a B.A. degree, and from the U.W. Library School (now the School of Library and Information Studies) in 1918. She was the oldest living U.W. alumna for several years prior to her death. She worked with the Minneapolis Public Library system, then returned to Madison to join the Wisconsin Library Commission. She served the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for 43 years, first as the assistant supervisor of school libraries, and, after her appointment in 1937, as Wisconsin supervisor of school libraries, a position Irene held until her retirement in 1965. Irene had the distinction of working with four state superintendents of public instruction who were much aware of the importance of a library's vital role in the school program. Under Irene's leadership, libraries were established in the smaller high schools and at the elementary level. During this period, the place of libraries in a school was legalized and certified teacher librarians became compulsory. As supervisor, Irene served as secretary of the Wisconsin Reading Circle Board which directed the supplementary reading in the grades and professional reading for teachers. Irene was a past president of the Wisconsin Library Association, a past treasurer of the Wisconsin Library School Association, and served on numerous committees on education and book selection, including the original committee for the Cooperative Children's Book Center, now part of Wisconsin's School for Library and Information Studies and U.W. School of Education. Irene was a member of Sigma Kappa Social Sorority, from which she holds a diamond anniversary certificate, and also the Alpha Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Honorary International Educational Society, for many decades. Other memberships included the American Library Association, the Wisconsin Library Association, the Wisconsin Alumni Association and its Half Century Club, the State Historical Society, Dane County Red Cross, St. Martins Guild, St. Anne's Altar Society of Holy Redeemer Church, the Madison Catholic Woman's Club, the Catholic Daughters of America, and the Madison Area Retired Education Association. After retiring, Irene remained an active member of Holy Redeemer Church, serving as treasurer of the altar society for 13 years, and vitally involved in all church programs and community service projects. Irene is survived by cousins and many loving friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Newman; two brothers, Dr. J. Robert Newman and Edward Newman; and two sisters, Rose Katherine Newman and Elsie Newman. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the NAZARETH HOUSE CHAPEL, 814 Jackson Street, Stoughton, on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2005, at 11 a.m. Monsignor Gerard Healy will officiate, with burial in Resurrection Cemetery. Friends may call at the chapel on Tuesday after 10 a.m. until the service time. Memorials may be made to the Apostolate to the Handicapped or Holy Redeemer Church. Many thanks to the caring staff of Nazareth House and Irene's many devoted friends. "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show any human being, let me do it now. But let me not defer or neglect it, For I shall not pass this way again.-Stephen Grellet" Joyce-Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services 5701 Odana Road (608) 274-1000.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on January 16, 2005

No comments: