Coleman Home

Naomi Coleman Newell

Naomi was born Dec. 20, 1903, the seventh child of 13 born to John and Annie Coleman. Naomi, or Non as she was called, attended school and spent her growing up years in Mesa. She was 13 when her mother died, a devastating blow to the family. She was close in age and temperament to her older sister Minnie, and the two of them loved to dance. She also love to play the piano and could be found at the center of a gathering, playing and singing. Naomi met Thomas Stanley Newell when she was still a teenager and they were married just after her sixteenth birthday.

In her life story as she wrote it, she said, “Stan and I were married in Lute’s house and Stan’s dad was justice of the peace at that time, so he performed the ceremony. Dad and Lute were our witnesses. It wasn’t a long ceremony or one of those where the bride and groom stayed pretty for a week or two. We had rented a little house close to Lute, and it was a dirty mess. Lute and I cleaned for two or three days on it, and we were still cleaning when Stan’s dad sent word he was on his way. I rushed over to Lute’s, got dressed for the ceremony, and Stan and I were married. I took off my wedding dress and -Stan and I went back to the little house we had rented to wash the dishes. Yes, Stan helped. It wasn’t a very romantic ending to our wedding, but I was real happy and worshipped the ground Stan walked on. He must have loved me very much to put up with me for so long, as we certainly went through some tough times together, but really more good times than bad. We even picked songs that we called ‘our songs’ while we were either having a good time, a tough time, or just being separated because of his work. I remember three that we always used, ‘Do You Ever Think of Me?’ when we were separated; ‘The Old Spinning Wheel’ when we always danced together; then during our jobless days we had ‘Side by Side.’

“Louise was born in Mesa our first year. Mother Newell took care of us, as she did a lot of other women. She had turned her house into a kind of maternity home. She would have two and three women there at a time. She had a house full when Stan and I were married, so she didn’t get to the wedding.

“Stan and I moved to L.A. March 22, 1925, and Eddie was born the following October. Mother Newell was going to make the trip over to stay with us, but she passed away that June. Eddie worked from the time he was old enough to shine shoes and sell newspapers. He always had a hobby of some kind. I had always regretted that he didn’t go to college as he wanted. His dad passed away that year, 1943. Eddie took Stan’s death very hard and seemed to think he had to pitch in and take up where his dad left off. Eddie later joined the Navy.

I have always said Bonnie was given to me for a reason. She was born Jane Louisa Newell to Louise Nov. 16 1938, but has always been Bonnie to all of us. She is so good to me. I am almost afraid to admire anything, much less say I want it.



Naomi at Lute's