Lora Jane Gibson Newell
December 31, 1989-August 22, 2021
FUNERAL SERVICE WITH MASKS REQUIRED: Saturday, September 4th at 11am at All Saints Episcopal Church,9302 Blondo Street. In lieu of flowers, we are asking that those who would like to honor Lora’s memory, please make a donation in her name to Children’s Home Society of Washington (https://www.childrenshomesociety.org/donate).
To view a livestream of the Funeral Service on Zoom, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88252466059?pwd=VU5UdHFVRjNyV05mUE5DOFVRdVhadz09#success.
Lora was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and her early years were marked by great physical and emotional traumas that Lora would carry with her throughout her life. She joined the Newell family as a foster child, in December 1995, at the age of 5, and she was adopted in 2000.
Lora struggled all her life with how to find balance in the irony that a person can be both strong and vulnerable at the same time. Her tender heart was most evident in her relationship with her foster brother, Brett, who was a non-threatening and equally loving companion. Lora was especially gentle with anyone who was vulnerable. This movement of heart was extended to “baby” brothers Ben and Sam. She had a special love for animals. She was also fiercely protective of those she loved, and despite their sisterly battles, this was most evident in her relationship with Racheal. Lora loved seeing pictures and talking about her niece, Annabelle and nephew, Nikolai.
Lora enjoyed playing outdoors (especially in the snow) and reading books. She loved wordplay and puns, joking, and laughing. Lora loved writing poetry. She enjoyed the Girl Scouts, and she was a member of the Seldovia Village Tribe. Later, she also developed a love of cooking. Lora’s childhood was the happiest time of her life.
In adolescence and early adulthood, Lora continued to struggle with the traumas of her early life. As she faced the normal adolescent milestone of achieving independence, she had trouble knowing whom to trust, and she desperately wanted to be “like everyone else.” Increasingly with age, Lora disconnected from the realities of daily life, and this may have been a welcome relief for her to navigate in a world that must have seemed so hard and uncaring to our tender-hearted Lora. Even during the depths of her illness, there would be times when the veil dropped and we would catch a glimmer of Lora’s great wit, intelligence, and compassion for others, and it those times that are most dear to us.
Lora, your heartbreaking struggle has now come to an end, dear child. May you rest in the arms of the one who loves you beyond measure. May you find the love and healing that eluded you on this earth and know that you will be remembered by all those who loved you while you were with us.