Obituary: Sally Newell

Sally Newell, 87, died on July 24, 2021 after a short illness. She was surrounded by her children, grandchildren and her beloved service cat Root Beer. Loved ones said Newell’s passing was “very peaceful.” She was born in Ridgefield, Conn., and moved to California at the age of three. She ended up in Ventura in 1962, where she raised her family.

Sally was a mover and a shaker. She started the very first free clinic in the state of California in 1971, the Ventura Free Clinic. A few years later, she founded CAAN(Child Abuse And Neglect), one of the first programs dealing with child abuse and neglect. She could often be heard announcing the baseball games at Montalvo Little League on the weekends. She loved to cook, bake and entertain. She was a dancer in her early years and was in several movies. 

She stayed in the nonprofit world almost all her life. She was a member of ALTRUSA club in Ventura, for strong women focusing on community service. Sally also loved a good poker game. When her children were grown, she moved to Las Vegas for a number of years and then eventually back to California. “She was a fighter, a warrior and a goddess,” a loved one said.

She left behind her children, Dr. Lisa Newell, Darrell Newell, Jessica Newell-Gorman; sons-in-law Chris Budak and Andrew Gorman; grandchildren Devan Diaz, Rosemary Ballard, Eris Gorman and Lochlan Gorman; and great-grandchildren DeShawn and Kalvin.

There will be a celebration of her life on Aug. 14. Please contact Lisa at 

Donations may be made to one of the many charities Newell supported in her life: Healthcare for Homeless Animals (HHA), where she got her service cat, Root Beer; Maximum Hope Foundation, serving the families of children with life limiting illnesses; California Wildlife Center; and Give Hope Fight Poverty, supporting a village in Swaziland where children are raising their siblings due to AIDS death among parents. 

“Mom always believed we should do something globally and make it count,” Lisa said.

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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