James Robert Newsom of Sonoma, California, passed away on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at the age of 86. Robert was born November 30, 1932, to J. Marshall and Tressa (Nowles) Newsom in El Dorado, Arkansas. After graduating from high school he enlisted in the US Air Force and served in Japan in the Air Force Band for four years. He graduated from Arkansas A & M with a teaching degree and moved to Oregon to teach where he met his wife to be, Karen M. Westerlund. After earning a Master’s degree at the University of Oregon, the young couple moved to Sonoma, California where Robert taught for many years as a world history teacher. Karen and Robert became lifelong friends with a refugee family from Vietnam who brought many blessings into their lives. Recently, Robert had been in living at Sonoma Post Acute.
Robert is survived by two sisters, Relda Bateman of El Dorado, AR and Marsha Odom of Crookston, MN, numerous nieces and nephews, and in-laws, Karl and Donna Westerlund, Fred Westerlund, Lynnette and Ken Baune, and Arthur Westerlund. Also by the Trinh family, Huong Marguerite Tran and her eight children.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Karen, and his sisters Betty Jane Rhyan, and Mary Francis Slaughter.
Interment services will be held at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery on a date to be determined. Memorials may be sent to Sonoma Valley High School for scholarships in Robert and Karen’s name. Blessed be the memory of Robert Newsom.
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