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Memories of Officer Newman celebrated

Jemison Police Officer Josh Newman’s family and friends, as well as those who served alongside him, gathered Saturday afternoon to celebrate the memory of their hero.

Newman died March 5, 2011, after his patrol car hydroplaned during heavy rains and struck a power pole in Thorsby. He was responding to another wreck involving possible injuries to children.

A graveside memorial service was held Saturday at New Hope Baptist Church in Jemison to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Newman’s death in the line of duty.

Jeff Mims, Newman’s father-in-law, spoke during the service and said the gathering wasn’t a time to mourn the tragedy that happened a year ago but an opportunity to celebrate what Josh meant to everyone.

“I’m sure everyone has their special memories and things on how Josh touched them,” Mims said.

Mims talked about watching Newman grow up and eventually becoming an Air Force service member.

“We saw a little child that grew into a man,” Mims said of Newman’s service.

After his time with the Air Force, Newman and his wife, Tracy, started a family when they welcomed their now 5-year-old son, Jace, to the world.

“He was a wonderful dad,” Mims said.

Nothing was more important to Newman than God, his family and his church family, Mims said, recalling Josh’s baptism.

He also talked about his time with the Jemison Police Department and what that service meant to him.

“He was so proud to be part of that family, the Jemison Police Department … because it’s who he was,” Mims said. “He was a servant. He wanted to help other people.”

It was this attitude and servant’s heart that made Newman a hero, Mims said.

“It’s not the way he died that made him a hero. It was who he was, the life he lived, and the witness he was, and may I say, still is.”