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Mary Elizabeth "Betty" (Ditch) Newkirk

July 7, 1929 ~ June 27, 2022 (age 92)


Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Ditch Newkirk of Rose Hill passed from her earthly life on the evening of Monday, June 27, 2022 while at Duplin Vidant Hospital in Kenansville, NC.  Born on July 7, 1929, she is the daughter of the late George Richard and Elizabeth Phipps Ditch.  She is also preceded in death by her husband—Joseph Whitfield Newkirk; son—Joseph Michael Newkirk; and siblings—George Ditch, Bill Ditch, Alice Jean Gaydosh, and Jack Ditch.

Left to cherish her memory are her son—George Whitfield “Bud” Newkirk and wife Lori of Magnolia and their children Walker Whitfield Newkirk of Magnolia and Thomas Joseph Newkirk of Magnolia; daughter-in-law—Martha Jane Powell (wife of her son Joseph Michael Newkirk) and their children Mary Elizabeth Prevatte and husband Michael Prevatte of Clayton and Jonathan Michael Newkirk of Wallace; great granddaughter—Kathleen Jane Prevatte of Clayton.

Mrs. Newkirk was born in Green County, Pennsylvania and after high school moved to Washington DC.  She worked at the FBI.  During this period, she met and married her husband—Joseph Whitfield Newkirk.  They moved to North Carolina where Mr. Newkirk taught in the Roseboro public school system and then  Duplin County.  Together they were instrumental in the founding of Harrells Christian Academy, where Mrs. Newkirk worked for the next forty-seven years.  She could always be found in her “Nest” at the main entrance of Foundation Hall where she greeted all that came in. The “Peppermint Lady” was ever present at the school to make students feel better if they were down and offer advice when it was needed.  She was a wonderful loving person who touched the lives of an enormous amount of people during her life on earth.  Expressing her love for Jesus to others was essential as she walked through her daily life.

A memorial service to celebrate her life is set for 2:00 P.M. on July 7, 2022, in the Joseph and Betty Newkirk Auditorium of Harrells Christian Academy.  Family asks that, rather than floral gifts, contributions be made to the Harrells Christian Academy to establish a scholarship in her memory, —PO Box 88—Harrells, NC 28444 or to the Concord Baptist Church—c/o Holly Casteen—190 Halls Pond Road—Rose Hill, NC 28458, in her memory.               

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Elizabeth "Betty" (Ditch) Newkirk, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Mary Elizabeth

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Memorial Service
July 7, 2022

2:00 PM
Betty Newkirk Auditorium of Harrells Christian Academy

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