Cover photo for Carol Newberry's Obituary
Carol Newberry Profile Photo
1934 Carol 2023

Carol Newberry

March 21, 1934 — December 18, 2023


Carol Austin Newberry, 89, of Abilene, passed away peacefully in her sleep on December 18.

Visitation will be from 5-7pm on Wednesday, December 27th at Hamil Family Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held Thursday, December 28th at 2pm at First Baptist Church in Abilene. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road.

Carol was born in Fort Worth, Texas on March 21, 1934. She was the granddaughter of two pioneer families, the Foys and the Austins, both from Baird. Her parents Frank and Katie Austin instilled in her an enduring love of dogs, books, and unwavering Texas pride. She attended Alta Vista Elementary School, where she met a group of life-long friends in the third grade, and went on to graduate from Abilene High School. Those friends created a tradition of taking annual trips over the years, which became some of her most cherished memories. She later attended Texas Tech University before shocking everyone and eloping with her high school sweetheart, John Howle, to Carlsbad, New Mexico. According to Carol, you’d be hard pressed to find two more naïve 19-year-olds. Despite their naivete they’d go on to create a beautiful and loving family.

Carol was not only a passionate football fan but incredibly knowledgeable about the game. As a player and coach’s wife you could find her at every scrimmage and away game. And as a football mom and grandmother she certainly wasn’t shy with her voice on the sidelines. We should also mention here that while she loved Texas football she was not a fan of Jerry Jones – a fact that she would have wanted us to make abundantly clear.

She was a strong leader. Somehow she survived after losing her beloved husband John in a tragic and sudden car accident. Years later, she’d meet her second husband Newt Newberry when she needed a date to a party for George H.W. Bush. She loved her husbands, of course, but she won’t be with either one of them in heaven. In heaven, she’ll be married to Gregory Peck.

To say she was an avid reader is an understatement. She instilled a great love of reading in her family and was known for gifting personalized books chosen specifically for each recipient. She especially loved To Kill A Mockingbird, Lonesome Dove, and Love is a Wild Assault. It’s also worth mentioning that she was preceded in death by many beloved dogs but most notably Scout and Gus.

She loved music and we will forever think of her every time we hear a Willie Nelson song. She also loved to travel and cherished her trips to Colorado to attend her beloved niece Jana Barlit’s annual fundraiser benefiting the Denver Dumb Friends League and featuring performances from some of the top acts in the music business.

Carol was a devoted grandmother to her grandchildren who lovingly call her Mana. Holidays at her home on Elmwood were idyllic, lively, and fun. She was notorious for going completely overboard with Christmas presents despite announcing year after year that Christmas had been cancelled. We reckon she finally stuck to her promise this year.

She was involved in the Abilene Woman’s Club, Abilene Public Library Board, 20th Century Study Club, Meals on Wheels, and multiple Mahjongg groups.  She was proud to be the longest living member of First Baptist Church, a member of Ron Smith’s Sunday School Class, and a longtime member of the First Baptist Choir.

Carol was preceded in death by her parents Frank and Katie Austin, her husbands John Howle and Newt Newberry, her sister Martha Jane (Denny) Gafford, and nephew Frank Cockrell.

Missing her fiercely are her children Rebecca Howle McMurray, John Howle and wife Deborah, Michael Howle and wife Sonja, Tanna Finley and husband Neil; grandchildren Zan Howle, Lindsey Dwyer, Jonathan Howle, Haley Howle, Kathryn Hoelscher, Lauren Doan, Mallory Finley, and Nathaniel Finley; nieces Jana and Casey; nephew Gerry; and her many beloved great-grandchildren.

Honorary Pallbearers are Sonya Quinn, Raye Morris, Nancy Hodges, Beverly Moore, Virginia Holley, Kay Denkoff, Gayle Gray, and Nancy Brock.

The family of Carol Austin Newberry wishes to extend our sincere thanks to her long time friends and care givers Jerry Mosher, John Hills, and Becky Childers.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Texas Family Institute, 100 Chestnut St. Suite 101 Abilene, TX 79602




To order memorial trees in memory of Carol Newberry, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, December 27, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

The Hamil Family Funeral Home

6449 Buffalo Gap Rd, Abilene, TX 79606

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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