Virgil “Coke” Dennis Newman, age 80, of Volga, passed away on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at the Veteran’s Hospital in Sioux Falls.
Visitation will be from 6 until 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, 2019, at the First Lutheran Church in Volga, South Dakota. Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 10, 2019, at 10 a.m., also at the First Lutheran Church in Volga. Burial will immediately follow the service at the First Lutheran Cemetery in Volga.
Virgil “Coke” Newman was born on September 5, 1938, to Clement and Florence Newman (Windedahl) in Roswell, SD. Coke grew up in Carthage and graduated from Carthage High School in 1956. After high school, he attended South Dakota State University and received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in education.
Coke married Catherine Ratliff in 1960, and enlisted in the Army in 1961, reaching the rank of First Lieutenant. Coke and Catherine had three sons: David, Dennis, and Doug. Coke and Catherine later divorced. In April, 1979, he married Paulette Braley.
Coke began his career in Wilmot, SD, in 1963, as a teacher, coach, and athletics director. He taught and coached at Webster before serving as principal in Waubay. He was athletics director, elementary principal, and coached at Sioux Valley from 1975 until 1987. Coke was head coach in the sports of football, cross country, boys and girls basketball, track and field, and boys and girls golf during his career. He was also a sports announcer and a football, basketball, and track and field official for many years. He was honored as Track Official of the Year in 2000. He received the South Dakota High School Activities Association Distinguished Service Award in 2004, and in 2011 was inducted into the South Dakota Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
Coke enjoyed playing golf and helped design Meadow Creek Golf Course in Volga. He also enjoyed traveling and spending time with family.
Survivors include his wife, Paulette Newman of Volga; his children: David (Laura) Newman of Nashville, TN, Dennis (Paula) Newman of Watertown, Doug (Rhonda) Newman of Sioux Falls; stepdaughters: Michelle (Jim) Stephens of Rapid City, and Melissa (Jesse) Klapperich of Brandon; grandchildren: Ashten Rombough, Trevor Rombough, Ember Newman, Tom Newman, Nick Newman, Kaela Newman, Gavin Klapperich, Ava Barthel, and Brielle Klapperich, and great-grandchild, Willow Nachatilo.
He was preceded in death by his parents; stepfather, Karl Carman; and sister, Valera Anderson.
In lieu of flowers, Coke’s family encourages family and friends to address memorials to First Lutheran Church of Volga for the purchase of pew Bibles.