John Newsome, 79, of Leesburg, died on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. Two of the things people remember the most about John Newsome were his big heart and generosity. His hands, toughened by years of hard work, let you know he was a strong man. And they also were a testament to the size of his heart and his willingness to lend those hands to help others. His infectious laugh let you know that he enjoyed his life and found meaning in every day.
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He was blessed to be one of the last of the real Florida cowmen and loved what he did. He always said, "If you love what you do, you'll never have to go to work."
Born the son of a sharecropper in Alabama, he learned at an early age to work hard helping the family make ends meet. When he was in his early teens, the family moved to Lake County, where he got a job with Power's Dairy. It was here where he began to love working with cattle and from there worked for several large beef cattle ranching operations, at one point managing thousands of head of cows for SN Knight and sons from South Florida to North Georgia. In his fifties, he suffered a heart attack that put him in the hospital for two months and left him nearly in financial ruin. He came back stronger than ever and, at an age when other people decide to retire, he instead built a large, successful ranching and agribusiness from nothing. That business survives him today and helps keep Florida's ranching business alive.
John Newsome and his wife raised three sons, of whom he was very proud: He also raised a generation of young men who gravitated toward him as they struggled to find direction in their lives. John was a strong role model, serving as a compass directing them toward being productive members of our community, and being a father figure when needed; this was something he did quietly, without recognition by anyone other than those who witnessed that generosity and compassion in person.
John loved the Lord and his family. He loved nature, life, and people. He loved horses, cow dogs, cattle, working hard, playing hard, roping, and having fun wherever he was or whatever he was doing. He was a big man with an even bigger heart, and, and he will be missed.
He is survived by his wife Marcia of 51 years,sons Danny and his wife Robin, Scott and his wife Holly, and Mark and his wife Danielle,
grandchildren Clay, Cogan, Mason, Cheyenne, Masyn, Dean, Cashlynn, Kennedy, and Charlie; a whole pack of young men who he took in over the years; a herd of horses, and a bunch of good cattle dogs.
There will be a celebration of life at 2 pm on October 10th at Windy Acres Arena located at 1350 Miller Blvd, Fruitland Park, FL 34731. Due to COVID concerns, please observe social distancing guideline