Columbia Star

Remembering Emily deQuincey-Newman


Emily deQuincey-Newman (l) and Connelly-Anne Ragley at the DAR Continental Congress 2022 in Washington, D.C.

Emily deQuincey-Newman (l) and Connelly-Anne Ragley at the DAR Continental Congress 2022 in Washington, D.C.

Emily deQuincey-Newman could be described as an institution in Columbia. She was a daughter of the late Dr. I. deQuincey-Newman and Anne Hinton Newman. Emily was so proud of her heritage, being a descendent of many patriots who fought to establish this nation during the American Revolution and having deep family ties to the Civil Rights movement. In a way, talking to her was like entering a time capsule complete with a survey of history. When she discussed her family tree, she would often say “but I can do better than that” as she rattled off ancestor after ancestor and many facts about their lives and connection to her. She was an old soul who genuinely cared for others.

Affectionately known as just “Emily” by many, she had an uncanny way of connecting with people from all walks of life. To have known her was to love her. No visit or conversation was complete without one of her quirky sayings or a story about her family, her experiences, or her connections to our community.

Her stories were always delivered with her sincere attention to those who she was conversing with, no matter the topic. I first met Emily in 2016 when I started working on my membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). At the time, she was the regent of the Columbia Chapter, and in a strange twist of fate, it is the same role I now carry as the leader of our chapter.

In regards to her DAR membership, she served not only as our chapter regent but also as the Genealogy Preservation State chair, Alternate District V director, and was a trusted friend to many throughout the state and national DAR. She broke the color barrier as part of desegregation while in grade school. Most importantly to me, she was a friend, encourager, and confidante.

Governor Henry McMaster appointed her as a member of the South Carolina American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission as our state prepares to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution. One of her greatest joys was her Wednesday night Zoom get togethers with other DAR members of color from all over the country.

Being in the same room with Emily was like experiencing a jolt of energy. She could make you laugh, encourage you, or say something that made you think deeply, usually all in the same conversation.

The Columbia Chapter was privileged to share Emily with others in DAR, and Columbia is lucky to have had a citizen like her. I know I am a better person for knowing Emily, and I will be reminded of her and her gentle spirit for the rest of my life.

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