Robert R. Newstead MD | Obituaries

Keith & Keith Funeral Home

Dr. Robert Richard Newstead passed away April 23, 2022 from the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. He was born September 16, 1935 in Detroit, Michigan to Agnes (Lewandowski) and Oran Newstead. At age three, just before the death of his father, the family relocated to Chicago, Illinois where he was raised in the Trumbull Park Homes, in South Deering. In the housing project Bob joined his neighborhood gang, earning the name “Pickles”; there was also “Captain Googley” and “Mousey,” whom Bob called ”the leader and brains of the outfit.” It was here he learned to ditch school, play cards, sneak into Cubs and Bears games, fight, smoke cigarettes and swear — skills that served him well over his lifetime. He was “nudged out” of Orville T. Bright Elementary, and taken in by St. Kevin’s Catholic school, in the fifth grade. Significantly, only two blocks away were the Trumbull Park playfields, where Bob found both friends and purpose; wrestling, playing baseball, and football. Most importantly Bob met Jim Jannotta, with whom he would remain friends throughout his life and who would later introduce Bob to his future wife.

Bob attended Chicago Vocational High School (CVS) where he wrestled to second place in 1949 in the 106 lb. class of the Chicago City Championships and won the AAU Novice Weight City Title in 1950. At CVS Bob studied drafting and welding. He graduated in 1953, going to work the next day as a welder for American Shipbuilding in the Calumet Shipyards. After two years working as a welder, Bob talked his way into a football scholarship at the College of Idaho, by convincing another south Chicago pal, Buzzy Bonnaminio, the player the coach wanted, to say that he would “only move to Idaho if Newstead goes too.” Leaving the shipyard for college launched Bob on a trajectory that would awaken his academic interest in him and convince him that welding outside in a Chicago winter was not how he wanted to spend his life in him. At the college of Idaho, Bob worked for a doctor who inspired him to pursue medicine.

Bob followed his buddy Jim Jannotta to Quincy College where Jim introduced him to his future wife, Marie Carmela LiPuma. A year later, working in a men’s store and as a welding fabricator, Bob was still not able to afford college. Returning to Chicago to work for the University of Illinois Research Project, Bob worked as a caretaker of 800 mice. He went to night school, finishing his requirements for medical school. He and his friend Jim were both accepted to Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, class of 1963.

While at Loyola he married Marie LiPuma in 1961. Their first child, Elizabeth Marie, was born in Chicago in 1962. To afford medical school, Bob enlisted in the United States Army Senior Medical Program, receiving pay and a five-year commitment of service . During Bob’s internship at Walter Reed Medical Center their second child, Peter Joseph, was born in 1963. The Army offered Bob a General Surgery residency at Walter Reed, but he chose instead to enter the Dr. Rubin Flocks Urology Residency at the University of Iowa .

After Jump School at Fort Bragg, NC, helicopter training at Fort Rucker, Alabama, and then as a Flight Surgeon at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, Carmela and Bob had their third child, Angela Agnes in 1965. In September, Bob spent his 30th birthday wading ashore in Viet Nam with the 1st Air Cavalry on their way to An Khe. After a year that included two helicopter crashes and getting shot at by US artillery fire while out visiting villages with a priest, endeavoring to “win hearts and minds,” Bob returned to the States for his final year of commitment with the Army at Fort Ord , California on the Monterey Peninsula, a dramatically different world than Viet Nam.

Bob began his four year Urology residency at the University of Iowa, where their last child, Paul Michael was born in 1969. Completing his residency, Bob had the wonderful fortune to move to Yakima, Washington where he joined the Urology practice of Drs. Thomas Mathieu and John Wolf. I have loved his work and the medical community, feeling that his work was an occupation of service. I have appreciated everyone in the office and hospital staffs, believing each person was important to the welfare of the patient. At different times he was Chief of Staff for both St. Elizabeth and Memorial Hospitals, additionally serving a year as President of the Medical Society.

Robert Newstead will be most missed by his loving wife, Marie Carmela; his three surviving children of him, Peter (Tina Neil), Angela (Jorrit Van der Meulen) and Paul (Germaine Etcheverry); and his eight loved grandchildren, Jacqueline and Ella Newstead (Peter), Nico, Gabriel and Carmela Van der Meulen (Angela), John-Paul, Genevieve and Dominic Newstead (Paul). He will also be missed by his sister de ella, Barbara, who despite a lifetime competition to control each other, was always a devoted and loving sister (for giving him for not telling her she was taking the wrong train home from the Cubs game in 1945 ). Barbara’s children, Mark, Rich, Nancy, Matt and Lisa and all their children of him, were special and dear to him, having lost so much family so early in his life.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Agnes and Oran, his older brother Richard, and his first child Elizabeth.

In his final days he was lovingly cared for by Teresita Arenas, Altagracia Olveres and Elias Aserverdo, guided by the sure hands of Drs. Sloop, Lascar and friend of the past 50 years, Dick Twiss. The family humbly thanks them all.

Lastly, it should be said how lucky this once Midwestern city kid was to spend his last 50 years in Yakima, a city filled with great people who became wonderful and cherished friends. Often in life people speak of doing the right thing and sticking by your friends to the end. Bob was extremely lucky to be surrounded by friends who came to see him in his infirmity, brought him coffee or apples, dinner or conversation — too many to name here but thank you people of Yakima for being all that people are hoped to be and very often more.

There will be a Catholic Mass of Christian Burial St. Paul’s Cathedral on Saturday, May 7 at 10 AM A vigil will be held at Keith & Keith Funeral Home on Friday, May 6 from 4 to 8 PM Masks will be required because of direct family that is immunocompromised.

Memorials can be made to St. Paul’s parish, Heritage University, and Northwest Medical School. To leave a memory for the family please visit


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