Tribute to Doug Newcombe
(April 6, 1955-July 3, 2014)
***Obituary for Doug Newcombe (written by Doug’s older brother Robert):Douglas Lombard Newcombe, 59, loving husband of Carolyn, proud father of 4, and devout Christian, passed away on July 3, 2014 in Anthem, Arizona. He was born on April 6, 1955 in Evanston, Illinois to Ann and Leo Newcombe. Doug graduated from La Lumiere (High) School in La Porte, Indiana and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He was a software developer and worked for FMC in Chicago, Miles Burke Associates, Ajilon, and American Express in Phoenix. Doug was also a songwriter and wrote hundreds of songs. He served on worship teams in various capacities at several Christian churches in the Phoenix/Anthem communities. Doug is survived by his wife, daughter Courtney, son Peter, and daughters Julie and Katherine; his father Leo; his seven siblings and thirteen nieces and nephews.
***Video tribute to Doug by Doug’s younger brother John (and shown at the funeral)
***Videos of Doug and his music:
*Songs from Doug’s November 23, 2013 “By Invitation” concert (thanks to Robert Newcombe for separating each song):
- “Midwestern Cornball“
- “Bread of Life”
- “I Turn to You”
- “In the Arms of Love”
- “I Know”
- “Why Jesus”
- “Good News”
- “The Chemo Song”
- “In Your Hands”
- “Medley: All I Want”
- “Magic of Your Love”
- “One Look at You”
- “To a Higher Ground”
- “Praise to a Child”
- “Shout Grace to the Mountains”
- “In the Light of Your Love”
- Tomorrow”—one of Doug’s songs
- *Doug’s videos, “Nothing But the Best”
- *Something in the Air
- *Dance with Me (Halloween video/song)
***Doug Newcombe’s funeral service was held on July 7, 2014 at Echo Mountain Baptist Church, thanks to Rev. Dale Farwell, with Rev. Bob Lehman officiating. Doug was friends of both Dale and Bob, who serves as the pastor of Arizona Hills Community Church in Anthem, AZ.
*Doug’s older brother Rick spoke at the funeral (video courtesy of Doug’s nephew, Kevin Sugrue).
*Doug’s younger brother Jerry spoke at the funeral.
*Doug’s younger brother John spoke at the funeral.
*Doug – first song at funeral – Never Let Go
*Doug – second song at funeral – When Your Love Comes Down
***Remarks for Radio on the Death of Doug (Vocal Point, GraceNetRadio.com, 7/24/14)
Earlier this month, Doug, one of my older brothers, died. This was the first of 8 siblings to go. (6 boys and 2 girls.) Doug died after a yearlong struggle against lung cancer, and he’s survived by his wife and 1 son and three daughters, living in the Phoenix area. I want to take a few moments and honor his memory.
I am so grateful he died as a Christian. Paul said, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” How true. Jesus Christ gives us words to live by and words to die by.
Because of the salvation He wrought on the cross (going to hell for us, in our place, so we don’t have to) and because he conquered the grave in His resurrection, we can have true hope of where we are going after we die—if we trust in Jesus. Doug did that, so I know I will see him again one day.
My brother Doug was very funny. For example, when we were growing up in our large family, one day at church, the pastor gave a sermon about the Good Samaritan, and in that passage Jesus is asked, “And who is my neighbor?” Well, he had a very whiny voice, and he kept saying over and over, “And who is my neighbor?” Then when we were driving home in this car filled mostly with teenage boys and we got into our direct neighborhood, we saw a beautiful girl on a bicycle. And Doug blurted, “And who is my neighbor?”
Years later, my son Eric got to visit Doug and his family for a few weeks. Doug sat him down one day and said, “Eric, let me teach you all about investing in the stock market. Do you know want to know how to make a small fortune?” “Sure, Uncle Doug, tell me all about it!” “You start with a large fortune!”
Even in the last year of his life, as he was receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Doug still retained his sense of humor. He told one of my other brothers. “Wow, people have been so kind and thoughtful to me. There’s been an outpouring of emails, cards, visits. Man, if I knew it was going to be this good, I’d die more often!”
Doug didn’t always have faith in Jesus. He struggled with doubts for years, but once he made up his mind and came to realize Jesus is who He said He was, Doug was all in. The writings of C. S. Lewis helped him, providing real answers for real questions.
One aspect of Doug was that on the side he wrote music. Music was a vital part of his life, and he was a prolific song-writer. My wife said that her first image of Doug was of him with his guitar playing music—that was also her last image of him in a special concert he gave that I’ll mention in just a moment. She said he typified Psalm 96 to her: “Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord. Sing to the Lord. Praise His name. Each day proclaim the good news that He saves.”
When Doug first learned of his cancer about a year ago, he told me, “Please, pray for me about this: I have some songs in my heart that I went get out and record and make available on youtube or whatever. But I went to get them recorded before I die.”
Well, by the grace of God and the help of his church and family and friends, it became a reality last November, when he gave an hour-long concert highlighting many of his songs. It was videotaped well (with 3 cameras), and they even produced a DVD of it, called “Doug Newcombe—By Invitation.”
I normally don’t play music on this particular show. That’s Mike at the mic’s job. But I’ll make an exception to play one of Doug’s songs that he performed at that concert. He wrote this. You can hear him singing, then with our singers at his church chiming in. This is based on Isaiah 53 and is called “The Arm of the Lord.” This is an original composition by Doug Newcombe.
SONG: In the Arms of the Lord
Again, that was my brother Doug and some band members from Arizona Hills Community Church in the Phoenix area at a concert they did in November 2013.
By the grace of God, every one of his 7 siblings was able to travel there and spend time with him before he died.
In May 2014, Doug learned that the cancer had returned, in spades, and it was only a matter of time. My brother wrote at that time: “Please don’t be sad over this. I know my Redeemer and am confident where I will be going soon. It’s actually kind of exciting.”
I am grateful for my older brother Doug and his time with us. He went to be with Jesus on July 3, 2014.
I close with these words I once saw on a grave from the 1860s in New Jersey. It said this, “This world is vain and full of pain, with care and trouble sore. But they are blessed, which are at rest with Christ forevermore.”
For Vocal Point, this is Jerry Newcombe.
***Audio of three of Doug’s songs. Copyright 2014-Doug Newcombe
- *Bread of Life
- *Help Me Believe
- *The Arm of the Lord