Darlene Joan Newby-Watson, PhD

Darlene Joan Newby-Watson, PhD, age 85, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 at Sierra Vista Hospital in San Luis Obispo, Calif. She was born Aug. 15, 1933, in Spokane, Wash. to Harold Luther and Gladys (Caudill) Newby.

She was a 1950 graduate of Lewis & Clark High School in Spokane and continued her educational pursuits which included receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Education in 1959 from Eastern Washington College of Education, a Master’s degree in Education in 1965 from the University of Washington, and in 1988 she was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Neuropsychology from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. Darlene was an educator in several school districts including Falls Church, Virginia, Carmel, Paso Robles, and Atascadero, California as well as in Denton, Texas. She also evaluated and counseled children at her self-founded Atascadero Learning Center where she practiced privately as a licensed educational child psychologist and contributed to the San Luis Obispo County Probation system in this same capacity.

She was proud to be a decades-long sister in the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and was a member of countless boards and committees during her many years of service nationwide and in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Denton counties.

She was an inspiration to countless individuals, both family and friends alike. Her strength unmatched, she was not one to take no for an answer and she prided herself on passing on that strength of character to those who would listen. Affectionately known by family as “The Manager” (her self-appointed nickname/title), she was a kind matriarch and mentor, careful to impart knowledge, teach manners, establish guidelines, and show everyone the proper path.

She was an accomplished pianist, guitarist and banjo enthusiast, voracious reader, enjoyed singing, travel, poodles, dog shows, Willie Nelson, laughter, all things purple, and Jack Daniels whiskey (in moderation, of course). She was also a strong proponent for addiction rehabilitation and was a major contributor to North County Connection, a recovery house in Atascadero, Calif.

Darlene’s first marriage ended tragically when her first husband lost his battle with Leukemia in 1959. She would later find herself in love and united in holy matrimony to her Knight in Shining Armor, James V. Watson, Sr. on May 4, 1969.  Darlene and Jim most recently celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary.

Darlene was preceded in death by Joann Malone, daughter, Michael Bartell Malone, Sr., husband, Letha Jean (Newby) Parker, sister, and Jefferson Brett Malone, son. Her wonderfully amazing journey will be forever remembered by her devoted and loving husband James V. Watson, Sr., sons Michael Bartell Malone, Jr. and James V. Watson, Jr., daughter Laura Ann Malone-Watson Davis, daughters-in-law Diane Malone and Crystala Melea Mager Watson, granddaughters Sarah Bonilla and husband Bobby, Caitlin Malone, Amy Malone, Michelle Davis and Leila Milton, grandsons Jesse Davis and wife Diana , William Davis and girlfriend Lauren Habern, Craig Malone and fiancé Marina, Dane Malone and Justin Milton, as well as nine great-grandchildren: Madison, Murphy, Victoria, Trinity, Cleo, Ben, Oliver, Sam, Stella and an ARMY of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, in-laws, cousins and friends. She was a woman of true grit from the “Greatest Generation” and she will be dearly missed.

Keeping tradition with her privacy preferences and respecting her written wishes, no formal memorial or visitation will be held. Interment will be at Greenwood Memorial Terrace in Spokane, Washington at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 10, 2018.  Family and friends are welcome to join to solemnly witness interment, however no service will be held on-site. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to: North County Connection, 8600 Atascadero Avenue in Atascadero, CA 93422 or any of the following charities: MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the American Parkinson Disease Association. Condolences may be sent to the family at 8400 Atascadero Avenue in Atascadero, CA 93422.


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