Obituary: Newell, Janice Christelle
Died Monday after a brave battle with cancer. She was 58 and had just celebrated 35 years of marriage to her husband, Keith. Janice was a joyous, gifted organist and a beloved member of the Spokane music education community.
Janice was born in Kennewick, WA, in 1954. Both of her parents were teachers, and from an early age, Janice eagerly shared her knowledge and passion with others. She loved serving as a counselor for Camp Lutherhaven and graduated from Eastern Washington University in 1976 with a degree in Education. Janice went on to enjoy more than forty years of making music with children, most recently at Whitman Elementary School, where she built a vibrant marimba and choral music program.
In 1976, Janice won the Young Artist Award for Pipe Organ at the Greater Spokane Music and Allied Arts Festival, and she served as Pastoral Music Director at St. Augustine Parish from 1982 until 1995. Janice was also organist for Central Lutheran Church from 1976-82 and from 2000-2012. From 1999 until this year, Janice was a director and accompanist for the Spokane Area Children’s Chorus. She loved traveling to Europe and South America with the Chorus, and took great pleasure in working with its youngest singers.
Janice will be remembered appreciatively for her boundless enthusiasm, her delight in sharing her tremendous knowledge, her musical artistry, and her loving, generous spirit. She is survived by her husband, Keith; two children, Lydia and Teddy; her parents, Robert and Isabelle Neuman; her siblings Mary Neuman, Carl Neuman, and Julie Gesicki, and extended family.
The funeral Mass for Janice will be celebrated on Saturday, June 30, at St. Augustine Parish at 10 a.m., with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, Janice’s family suggests that memorial contributions may be made to the Spokane Area Children’s Chorus or to Whitman Elementary Zingamarimba.