Verner Newman
1930 - 2020
{ "" }
Share Verner's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Verner L. Newman III, 89, passed away on Thursday, January 30, 2020. He was born on May 31, 1930 in Lawrence, Kansas to Verner L. and Rachel Gazell (Gibson) Newman, Jr.

Verner attended the Lawrence Public Schools, attending Lincoln Elementary, Lawrence Junior High and graduated from Liberty Memorial High School. He also attended the University of Kansas.

Verner served his country in the United States Navy during the Korean War and was honorably discharged in 1953. He then married Kathryn A. Gatewood on June 21, 1954 in Manhattan, Kansas.

Verner retired as a Captain from the Lawrence Police Department in 1980 after 26 years of service. During his time with the LPD, Verner was the first officer to be trained in finger printing and was the first black police captain appointed by the LPD. Verner went on to work for the State of Kansas in Topeka and retired after ten years of service.

Mr. Newman was a 50-year member and past Worshipful Master of Western Star Masonic Lodge No. 1 F & A.M. Lawrence Kansas, American Legion VFW, Fraternal Order of the Police, Luncheon Optimists, The Hawk's Club and was a member of the former St. James A.M.E. Church of Lawrence, Kansas. He enjoyed playing basketball and was a member of the Negro League basketball team known as "The Promoters." He played slow and fast pitch softball on Woody's Aces team and enjoyed dominos, Bid Whist and was a fan of the KU Jayhawks.

Verner is preceded in death by two infant daughters; his parents, Verner L. Newman, Jr. and Rachel Gazell Gibson Newman; one sister, Helen Smith and one brother, Charles Newman.

Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 65 years, Kathryn Newman (Lawrence, KS); his daughter, Rebecca Murphy (Lawrence, KS); his son, Verner L. Newman IV (Lawrence, KS); five grandchildren, Marcus J. (Grace) Murphy II, Brian Murphy, Ryan Murphy, Victoria Newman and Elizabeth Newman; his sister, Charleen Coleman (Lawrence, KS) and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.

A public visitation will be held for Mr. Newman on Monday, February 10, 2020 from 3:00pm-7:00pm. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 11:00am. All services will be held at Victory Bible Church: 1942 Massachusetts Street (Lawrence). Please visit Mr. Newman's celebration page at

Memorial donations in memory of Verner L. Newman III can be made to Peaceful Rest Funeral Chapel (401 SW Harrison St., Topeka, KS. 66603) in care of Kathryn Newman.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Feb. 8, 2020.
03:00 - 07:00 PM
Funeral service
11:00 AM
Funeral services provided by
Order by phone: (866) 764-7853
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
7 entries
February 10, 2020
Patti and I send our thoughts and prayers to Captain Newman's family and loved ones. Patti was a Dental Hygienist for Dr. Brahler and got to know Verner through her employment at the dental office. I was a Deputy at the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and later a Patrolman for the Lawrence Police Department. I had the honor of working for and with Captain Newman! He was a highly intelligent person, a great Law Enforcement Officer and an outstanding leader. May God Bless!
Rick & Patti
Rick Trapp
February 10, 2020
I got to first know Verner when as a KU Law School student I was a law clerk for the Lawrence Municipal Court. Verner had a significant role with managing the Court at that time. He was clearly very capable and very insightful. Thereafter as I entered the practice of law in Lawrence I had the good fortune to have occasional visits with him. He was in all respects a very good man. Due to other scheduled conflicts regrettably I will not be able to attend the visitation or other services for him. Peter Curran.
Petre Curran
February 9, 2020
Sorry to read of Verners passing Kathryn. May
peace be with you and your family.
Bonnie Bond, Boise, Idaho
February 9, 2020
Verner was one of my first baseball coaches in the South Park League in 1961, and I interacted often with Kathryn at The First National Bank. Verner's advice to take a deep breath before stepping into the batter's box is something I've employed many times in later life. Verner was a consummate gentleman, and had a great sense of humor. May God rest his soul.

Thomas V. Murray
February 8, 2020
To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say...
but first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there's no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you."

It's good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on.
I need you here badly; you're part of my plan.
There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.

God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years
because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
But if I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o'er.
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.

There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
but together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too...
that as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain,
then you can say to God at night......"My day was not in vain."
And now I am contented....that my life has been worthwhile,
knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.

So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low,
just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street, and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

And when it's time for you to go.... from that body to be free,
remember you're not're coming here to me.

Ruth Ann Mahaffey (author)
©Copyright 1998
kenneth newman
February 8, 2020
WE WERE SO SORRY TO HEAR OF LT. NEWMANS PASSING. I worked with him for many years at LPD, he was always a leader and fair.HE will Be MISSED BY SO MANY-MAY GOD GRANT HIS FAMILY MANY WONDERFUL MEMORIES-GOD'S BLESSINGS TO EACH OF YOU.Ret.corpal Wayne othick ,LPD
Wayne and Nancy Othick
February 8, 2020
Verner's colleagues at Fraternal Order of Police Lawrence Lodge #2 give their sympathy to his family in this time of grief. Many of us remember working with Captain Newman and we will miss him.
FOP Chaplain
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences