Howard Floyd Newberry, 96, of Portsmouth, died Sunday, May 2, 2021, at his home encircled by the love of his family.
Howard was born August 29, 1924 in New Boston, a son of the late Thomas Henry and Hattie Irene Sullivan Newberry. He was a 1942 graduate of Glenwood High School where he played varsity basketball and baseball. He attended Miami University in Oxford, OH. At Miami he was a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity, a varsity letterman on the Miami Redskins (now Redhawks) baseball team as a short stop and a member of Tribe Miami (an on-campus varsity lettermen service organization). Howard graduated in 1947 with a degree in Education.
Howard was a teacher and coach with Portsmouth City Schools from 1947-1953, beginning at Roosevelt Elementary School, transferring to Harding Elementary and concluding his teaching as a physical education teacher for all Portsmouth City Elementary Schools.
In 1947 Howard formed a partnership with his brother, Jesse, to purchase Nichols' Variety Store in New Boston. They added sporting goods to the inventory and the business grew. In 1953 Howard and Jesse constructed a new building. The business name was changed to Newberry Brothers Department Store; also in New Boston. The partnership was dissolved in 1957. In 1958 Howard establish Newberry Sporting Goods in Portsmouth. Newberry Sporting Goods expanded over time to a total of six locations in Southern Ohio. He retired from the sporting goods in 2010 but continued as a "Goodwill Ambassador" for the business for several years following his retirement.
In the 1990's he hosted a radio interview program that highlighted the accomplishments of local individuals and gave "positive thinking" presentations to various community groups in the early 2000's.
Howard served his community in many ways. He coached Little League and Senior League Baseball for several years. Howard served as the President of the Ohio Valley Adult Baseball League for many years and was inducted into the Tri-State Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. He was a Community Chairman of the Heart Fund Campaign and co-founder of the St. Monica food pantry in New Boston. A longtime member of First Church of God, New Boston he was active in many outreach and education ministries. In his later years, while attending Cornerstone United Methodist Church, he participated in the food pantry and visitation ministries.
Howard was a family man of great faith who fully believed in the power of positive thinking. At the sporting goods, he focused on building rapport with the customers. Many of those customers in later years have relayed stories of Howard's generosity. If he had not discounted or provided the equipment at no charge, they would not have been able to participate in youth sports. He had a wonderful sense of humor and loved telling jokes. Howard was a true people person-he never met a stranger. He could often be found at home on a summer evening re-lacing a baseball glove for a customer while watching his beloved Cincinnati Reds.
Howard is survived by three sons, Joe, John, and Jerry (Roberta) Newberry of Portsmouth; two daughters, Jan Adams of Wheelersburg, and Jamie (Travis) Garnes of Huntington, WV; five grandchildren, Melissa and Aaron Adams of Wheelersburg, Christian, Chloe, and Camryn Garnes of Huntington, WV; two great-grandchildren, Mason and Macie Adams of Wheelersburg; a sister-in-law, Alma Newberry Powell of Indian Harbour Beach, FL, and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his loving wife Kathaleen Elizabeth (Gleim) whom he married on August 12, 1951; four brothers, Eugene, Jesse, Thomas and Charles Newberry; and sister, Lillian Kyser; as well as four siblings who died as children, Forest, Kenneth, Betty Jane, and identical twin brother, Harold Lloyd.
Services will be held Friday, May 7, at 11:00 AM, at Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 808 Offnere St., Portsmouth, with Rev. Kym James, Rev. Greg Carter and Rev. Tracey Henderson officiating. Interment will be in Greenlawn Cemetery in Portsmouth.
Friends and family may call from 6:00-8:00 PM, Thursday, May 6, at F.C. Daehler Mortuary Company, 915 9th St., Portsmouth, and an hour prior to the memorial service at Cornerstone UMC.
The Covid-19 protocol will be observed at the visitation and the memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Howard's memory to SOMC Hospice, 2201 25th St., Portsmouth, OH 45662.
F.C. Daehler Mortuary will be serving the family.
Please visit www.fcdaehlermortuary.com to share a memory or leave condolences for the Newberry family.