Newt Parker Elsdon
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Brune Mortuary Chapel in Bishop for 55-year Bishop resident Newt Parker Elsdon. Private burial will follow at the East Line Street Cemetery.
Born July 29, 1916 in Los Angeles to Emma G. MacDonald Parker and Julian Elsworth Parker, Newt died peacefully surrounded by family friends on Oct. 28, 2010 at the Bishop Care Center.
After the loss of his father, Newt’s mother married William Elsdon. His family moved to Auberry, where he attended school.
From 1936-39, Newt served as a seaman in the Merchant Marines and traveled the Gulf of Mexico and South America. In 1940 he married Opal Belle White and they moved to Hynes. In 1942 they moved to Hollydale and Newt worked for U.S. Steel.
From 1944-45 he again served as a seaman in the Merchant Marines along the West Coast of the U.S., the Pacific and Australia.
After the war, he worked for Cowley Steel Company. In 1955 he and Opal worked at a resort at Lake Sabrina for a year. While there they fell in love with the beauty and serenity of the Eastern Sierra. In Bishop, they found the perfect plot of land on Sierra Vista Way to build their dream house while Spanish Basque sheepherders kept their sheep in the vast fields across the road.
Although they both worked full-time, with the help of family and friends on evenings and weekends, they built their home while living in a mobile home there.
During their life in Bishop, Newt served the City of Bishop, the Forest Service and worked various home construction projects.
He was a member of the Elks and Lions clubs. For decades he worked at the fairgrounds for Mule Days, rodeos and other important events.
In 1987, he, along with Larry Verdier, was named Mule Days Committeeman of the Year and rode in the stagecoach they restored together.
Newt was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend who never met a stranger. He was fiercely independent and he never met a problem he couldn’t solve or an object he couldn’t fix, so he was the “go-to guy” of his world.
He made countless friends because he loved to “shoot the bull” and he was never happier than when surrounded by family and friends who were mesmerized by his yarns as they sat beside the house they built with him, within hearing distance of the stream he said sounded like “native peoples murmuring.”
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Opal, in 2008.
He is survive by his only son and daughter-in-law, Eugene and Jane; two granddaughters and grandsons-in-law, Kathy and Jeff DeCou of Atascadero and Cindy and Robb Lundskog of Mt. Sterling, Utah; six great-grandchildren, Lindsey and Joel DeCou and Megan, Austin, Tiffany and Emily Lundskog; and one great-grandson, Jacob Elliott.