August 21, 2017
Laura Jane “Rusty” Newkirk died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by family members following a brief battle with cancer on Aug. 21, 2017. She was 94 years young. Rusty, as she was known for her red hair, went out with a bang on the day of the national 100 year solar eclipse as was fitting for anyone who had ever met her.
Laura Jane was born on Feb. 15, 1923, in Amsterdam, N.Y., to her parents, William R. and Laura Olmstead from Glen, N.Y. She graduated from Fultonville High School in 1938 at age 15 and went on to get secretarial and accounting degrees from the Amsterdam School of Commerce. Upon graduation she worked at Bigelow Sanford Carpet Company as the Secretary to the Director. On June 19, 1948, she married the love of her life, Arnold F. Newkirk. After working at various jobs, Rusty opened and ran The Pampered Lady for over 40 years and became the place where memories and friendships were made for the many people who shopped there. She worked doing what she loved right up until the end and was an institution in both Roswell and Ruidoso. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Roswell and of the Eastern Star.
Mrs. Newkirk is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Betty and Ralph MacLachlan, Jr. of Glen, N.Y.; her step-daughter, Dorothy (Bob) Minch of Charlotte, N.C.; two step-granddaughters Elizabeth (Matt) Beizer of Connecticut and Heather (Scott) Oram of Charlotte, N.C.; three step-grandchildren Nate, Lauren and Samuel; nephew Edward “Billy” (Mary) Lang; nieces Charleen Strain, Mary Beth (Jon) Gehring-Smith , Rebecca (Jeff) Clemens, and Laura (Greg) Schweitzer; four great-nephews James, Trenton, Perry, William and one great niece Grace; three great-great-nieces and -nephews, and numerous dear friends. She is preceded in death by her parents, William and Laura (Hanson) Olmstead; her husband, Arnold Newkirk; and her sister and brother-in-law Caroline and Edward Lang.
Per Mrs. Newkirk’s request there will be no service and her remains will rest next to her husband’s at Hillcrest Mausoleum and Memorial Park in Dallas, Texas. Arrangements have been entrusted to Moss Family Funeral Home, 209 S. Batavia Ave., Batavia, Ill. Please visit the on-line guestbook at www.mossfuneral.com.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the First United Methodist Church of Roswell, N.M., or Kindred Hospice of Roswell, N.M.