Lora Jane Gibson Newell

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.






  • Br. Stephan Gerhardt Posted August 25, 2021 2:07 pm

    May God give you peace and comfort as you grieve Lora’s passing.

  • Rev. Michael Burke Posted August 25, 2021 5:06 pm

    St. Mary’s Episcopal Church of Anchorage Alaska send our love and prayers to you all at this time.May God hold you close in these days of grieving and healing.

    Rev. Michael Burke

    • Dave Newell Posted September 6, 2021 9:09 pm

      Thank you to our friends at St. Mary’s for holding our family in your hearts and prayers.

  • Deb Cottin Posted August 25, 2021 6:55 pm

    I’m so, so sorry.

  • Susan Maney Posted August 25, 2021 8:06 pm

    Thinking of you and your family Dave. Sending you heartfelt condolences as you try to reckon with the loss of your Lora.

  • Nicole Boone Posted August 26, 2021 8:03 pm

    From my family to yours our condolences and positive thoughts to you and your family.

  • Lidia osorio Posted August 26, 2021 10:36 pm

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Sending prayers and my sincere condolences for your loss.

  • Shawna Zellers Posted August 27, 2021 7:55 am

    Prayers to you and your family. May God bless each of you during such a heartbreaking time.

  • Suzanne Applegate Posted August 27, 2021 8:20 am

    I am so so sorry to hear about the loss of Lora. My deepest condolences and prayers to you all.

  • Sister Quyen Pham Posted August 27, 2021 11:13 am

    From the bottom of my heart I sending to yours our condolences and prayers. Thank you for your dedication to others.

  • Kari Zamora Posted August 27, 2021 4:10 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. May the memories of Lora bring you peace and comfort.

  • Carolyn Rodenberg Posted August 28, 2021 12:25 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of Lora’s passing. May God’s love surround and uphold you as she rests in his everlasting arms.

  • Lisa Lechowicz Posted August 29, 2021 8:29 am

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Wishing you peace. Treasure the beautiful memories of this beautiful spirit.

  • Jessica Lynch Posted August 29, 2021 5:26 pm

    Sending our deepest condolences and love to the Newell family during this unimaginable time.

  • Laurie Lippold Posted August 29, 2021 11:24 pm

    Sending heartfelt condolences to you.

  • Desiree Gordon Posted August 30, 2021 10:58 am

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us Dave, even in the hardest of times. May you feel the connectivity of the love we send to you and your family as God wraps his arms around you.

  • Bobbi Ruth Macdonald Posted August 30, 2021 12:41 pm

    Sending love and peace to you and your family.

  • Joanne Henry Posted August 30, 2021 5:04 pm

    It sounds like the parts of her life where she was allowed to and able to shine, your family had so much to do with building a world around her where that was possible. Sending you and her much warmth and hope for peace as you mourn her passing and celebrate her sweet spirit.

  • Norma Hatot-King Posted September 1, 2021 8:19 pm

    Lora’s sweet, sweet spirit lives among those she left behind. Love never dies. May her memory be an endless blessing.

  • Michelle Langstaff Posted September 2, 2021 9:47 am

    Dear Dave and Family, my deepest condolences. So so sorry for your loss.

  • Jaimie Anderson-Hoyt Posted September 2, 2021 11:47 am

    Dave, Theresa, and family, my heart and prayers go out to all of you. While I never had the pleasure of meeting Lora, it sounds as if the world has lost a lovely young woman who was deeply loved. I wish all of you peace as you navigate your grief and cherish memories of your time together.

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