Woman follows husbands legacy
FOR more than 10 years, Stan Newman dedicated hours each day with his push mower keeping the southern entrance to Warwick beautiful.
His death last month was sudden and heartbreaking, but Mr Newman's wife Jan is determined to keep the memory of her husband alive by continuing his legacy, taking on the work herself.
Mr Newman first began maintaining the patch near Rosenthal Road to lose weight, but the “mower man's” passion grew, as did his pride for the area he looked after.
He picked up rubbish, planted trees, zeroed and mowed, increasing his efforts whenever there was a big event in town like the rodeo.
“He really took pride in doing that,” his 67-year-old wife told the Daily News.
Mr Newman, who was originally from Tannymorel and worked as a labourer at a local flour mill, was also a keen walker, covering up to 27km a day to keep himself fit.
However, his breathlessness forced him to stop and in July he was taken to Warwick Hospital and had three litres of fluid removed from his lung.
“He was okay for two or three days,” Mrs Newman said. “But on July 21 he was sent to a Brisbane hospital where he was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.”
At first, doctors told the family he would have up to a year to live, then they said three to six months.
However, just 16 days after the diagnosis Mr Newman passed away at his Rosenthal Heights home.
“He wanted to be at home. He had all his family around him and that's all that matters,” Mrs Newman said.
The couple enjoyed a long and happy life together after their chance meeting in 1963.
Mr Newman was the driver at Mrs Newman's sister's wedding and their relationship blossomed from then.
They married in 1969 after Mrs Newman returned to Warwick from nurse training in Bundaberg.
The Newmans had three children – Thomas, Michael and Leisa.
However tragedy rocked the family in 1989 when Thomas was killed in a car crash.
“I guess I learned when we lost Tommy, you've just got to take one day at a time. You just have to cope,” Mrs Newman said.
“I've found it really hard coming back to the house and not find him here waiting for me.”
It's the memory of Stan which is motivating Mrs Newman to keep up his hard work.
But she is realistic about the workload and will trade the push mower for a ride-on to cut the long stretches of grass that border the New England Highway on the southern entrance to the Rose City.
Mr Newman paid for the mowers and fuel out of his own pocket. Now on a single pension, Mrs Newman is concerned she won't be able to afford the upkeep but insists she will try.
Do you think you can help in any way with labour, fuel or equipment?
Phone the Daily News on 46601317 or email jenna.cairney@warwick- dailynews.com.au.