CCS loses an Angel

Strength exceeding her years, Olivia inspired a school

Olivia Newsome, center, attended Concord Christian School and passed away Sunday, Sept. 8. She is pictured with her parents, Rachel and Caleb Newsome, both of whom work at CCS, along with her sister, Claire, and her brother, Isaac.
The Concord Christian School family is mourning the death of seventh-grader Olivia Kate Newsome, who lost her three-year cancer battle Sunday, Sept. 8.

She passed away at home, where she had been on hospice

care for several weeks, according to her family’s Caring

Bridge journal.

Olivia, 12, was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma in October 2016 after doctors found a mass on her left femur bone. She then bravely battled through surgeries, chemotherapy and other treatments before succumbing to the disease.

Olivia’s death hit the school especially hard, as not only was she a student there, but her parents work at CCS as well.

Her mother, Rachel Walter Newsome is the administrative assistant to CCS’s middle school principal, and father, Caleb Newsome, is the school’s physical education teacher.

“It has been a somber week,” said Stephanie Mason, CCS’s director of marketing, who added the school hosted a special Chapel time Monday, Sept. 9, and had pastors and counselors available all week from Concord Counseling Center.

Donald E. Snider, Head of School for CCS, was reflective as he recalled his interactions with the special student.

“I first met Olivia last year, and as I watched her fight this terrible disease. I grew in admiration for her,” Snider said. “In Olivia’s 12 short years, she impacted so many with her courageous fight against childhood cancer. 

“She loved school, her teachers and friends and shared her joyous enthusiasm with all who came in contact with her,” he added. “She was even in last year’s spring (theater arts) production, ‘Annie.’

“Olivia Newsome had a strong mature faith that far exceeded her age.  We are comforted to know that Olivia’s suffering is now over and she dances with her Lord and Savior in Heaven. 

“The Concord Campus continues to grieve our loss and we ask our friends in Farragut to keep the Newsome Family in your prayers.”   

Although Olivia weakened over the summer, her mother shared some activities Olivia was able to enjoy, including a family trip to Chattanooga in June, a movie night to see “The Lion King” in July and an outing with school friends just two days before she died.

“Olivia woke up that morning and wanted to go to lunch with two friends at school,” her mother wrote. “We made it, wheelchair and oxygen tanks and lunches and water bottles and medicines in tow.

“She enjoyed it immensely and then asked to go to Kohl’s. It almost gave me a heart attack, but we went, and she tried on probably 7 outfits. She found a dress she liked and we bought it,” Rachel further stated.

“I’m so glad that we were able to do this on Friday. She told me it made her feel human again. 

“I’m going to miss clothes shopping with her.”

Olivia also is survived by her sister, Claire, her brother, Isaac; grandparents, Dave and Mary Newsome, and Alan and Vickie Walter; a great-grandmother, Betty Huffaker; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

The family received friends Saturday, Sept. 14, in the worship center of First Baptist Church Concord, and the funeral was conducted by FBC pastor, the Rev. John Mark Harrison, and pastor Brandon Hurst of the Newsome family’s home church, OneLife Church.

A private interment was in Lakeview Cemetery with pastor Rodney Arnold officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Pain and Pallative Care Program or Hematology Oncology Department.