About Eleanor Rawlings (Newsom)
SANDERSVILLE, Ga. - Eleanor Newsom Rawlings died February 16, 2010 in Sandersville at the age of 82. Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 19th at 11 a.m. at the Sandersville United Methodist Church with burial in the Old City Cemetery. The Rev. Mark Carter and the Rev. Doctor James Cason will officiate. Born in Atlanta on September 1, 1927, she was the youngest of five children of Eugenia Griggs Adams Newsom and Nathan Joseph Newsom, M.D. The family returned to Sandersville, where her father's ancestors had settled in the early 19th century and where he practiced medicine for over 50 years. Mrs. Rawlings graduated from Sandersville High School, attended Shorter College and, while enrolled at Sophie Newcomb in New Orleans, attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and Emory University during summers. Leaving college only one quarter shy of graduation at Newcomb, she returned home to marry William Rawlings, Sr., M.D. in 1946. They were married until his death in 2004. She returned to college in the late 60s, first studying history and later earning her degree in biology. She was the valedictorian of her graduating class at Georgia College and State University in 1972. She taught for a brief time during a teacher shortage after the integration of the schools in Washington County and later enjoyed a 25-year career as an antiques dealer as the owner of Rawlings Antiques in Sandersville. She was a lifelong student, an expert in Native Americans of the southeast and in Southern antiques. She was an early collector of folk pottery and local basketry and made friends with many people whose talents she appreciated. She was a great traveler and adventurer, a lover of nature and of the humanities. She had a zest for life that she shared with all her knew her. She was an active member for over sixty years of Sandersville United Methodist Church. Mrs. Rawlings was the mother of six children, eleven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren: children William Rawlings, Jr., M.D., and his wife Beth of Sandersville; Mary Eleanor Rawlings Wickersham and her husband, David, of St. Simons Island; Jean Rawlings Sumner, M.D., and her husband, Joe, of Wrightsville; Joe Newsom Rawlings, M.D. of Amman, Jordan; Benjamin Frederick Rawlings and his wife, Cathy, of Gaithersburg, Maryland; and Thomas Charles Rawlings and his wife, Kay, of Guatemala City, Guatemala; and grandchildren Penn Wickersham and his wife, Valerie, and their children Belle and Will of San Antonio, Texas; Joseph Sumner and his wife, Ellen, of Wrightsville; Jeannie Sumner of Houston, Texas; Eleanor Wickersham Cates and her husband, Nathaniel, of Atlanta; William Rawlings and Allen Rawlings of Gaithersburg, Maryland; Elizabeth and Sarah Rawlings of Sandersville; and Will, Charlie, and Bram Rawlings of Guatemala City, Guatemala. Contributions may be made to Sandersville United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 611, Sandersville, Georgia 31082, and or to the Washington County Historical Society, P.O. Box 6088, Sandersville, Georgia 31082 or to the donor's favorite charity. The family will receive friends at the Rawlings' residence, 924 West Church Street, Sandersville, Thursday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. May and Smith Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements. www.mayandsmithfuneraldirectors.com .