Area vet who worked with friends in hopes of getting his beloved ‘Frankenstein’ pickup running in his final days, succumbs to pancreatic cancer. But even that didn’t stop efforts to fire up the ’71 Dodge.

Area vet who worked with friends in hopes of getting his beloved ‘Frankenstein’ pickup running in his final days, succumbs to pancreatic cancer. But even that didn’t stop efforts to fire up the ’71 Dodge.

Friends David Boylan, Ryan Goodwin and Joel Newsum.

 

Joel Newsum, a Rome resident and U.S. Air Force veteran whose quest to get his 1971 Dodge D100 Sweptline pickup in good running condition before pancreatic cancer claimed him, has passed.

That new engine inside the Joel Newsum’s truck that was nicknamed “Frankenstein.” Photo by David Boylan.

Despite dedicated help from friends, the 55-year-old didn’t get to ride in his final dream. His love of the old truck became a topic of local and Georgia conversation; two weeks ago, Hometown’s Natalie Simms wrote about how friends were helping Newsum getting that old Dodge back on the road (please click Bucket List).

Colleague David Boylan, who took on the cause of helping to get the truck ready for Newsum, says his buddy passed Tuesday evening at his home in West Rome, with family members and present. While mourning him, Boylan, other friends and Newsum’s family continued to tinker with the old Dodge. Plus, says Boylan, Larry Smith Automotive Machine Shop came to the rescue as well.

Their collective efforts paid off Saturday. Writes Boylan: “Success today. New engine, round 2, break-in procedure and test drive.  Joel’s siblings came to the house this morning, the oldest brother David Newsum did the honors, hitting the remote start switch to fire the engine for the first time.  Family and friends appeared from all over to assist with the engine install, last night and this morning.”

Don’t be surprised if Boylan and others find a way to get Joel that final ride before his ashes are interred at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton.

REMEMBERING JOEL (obituary)

Mr. Joel McCarroll Newsum, age 55, of Rome, Ga., passed away on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, at his residence after a brief battle with cancer.

Joel was born in Gainesville, Ga., on December 7, 1963, son of the late James David Newsum Sr. and the late Mary Colleen Hinton Newsum.  Joel graduated from East Rome High School and then served his country in the United States Air Force for eight years.  He joined South Rome United Methodist Church at a early age.  Joel loved his Dodge muscle cars and was a member of Excalibur Car Club since the ’80s.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Jeffrey Daniel Newsum.

Joel is survived by his brothers and sister, James David Newsum Jr. (Bernadine) of Surprise, AZ, Jennifer Bilby (Edward F.) of Moore, SC, Jan Keller Newsum (Rachel) of TX, and Jeremy John Newsum (Stephanie) of Cleveland, Ga.;  10 nieces and 1 nephew.

In accordance to Joel’s wishes, he will be cremated and interred at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, Ga., at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, Joel’s family respectfully requests donations be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Ave. Suite 200, Manhattan, CA  90266.

Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, Oaknoll Chapel.

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