For Marie Newberry, playing an active part in the community and making the most of what Huntsville has to offer is important. Not just for her generation, but for the generations that follow.
As a child, Newberry and her family arrived in Huntsville as part of the NASA Space race. “We moved here around 1960 or so,” said Newberry. “I grew up in Huntsville. I was not born here, but from first grade on, I was raised here.
Growing up in Westbury Estates, Newberry was part of the second graduating class at Grissom High School. The school was so new, there wasn’t even a cafeteria. Students either brought their lunch or ordered from McDonald’s. There were no PE classes either, so Newberry learned to play bridge during the open period.
As a Junior at Grissom, Newberry met her future husband, Joe, who is the President and CEO of Redstone Federal Credit Union. The couple met while taking a data programming class, learning old school technology like FORTRAN and COBAL.
After graduation, Newberry set her sights on accounting as a career path. “My freshman year I went to UAH, but then I went on to Auburn,” said Newberry. “I graduated from Auburn with an accounting degree, and I worked as an accountant,” said Newberry. “I retired in 2007. I had a good career, a good job. Joe and I raised both our kids, Michelle and Scott here.”
As legacy kids, Michelle and Scott both graduated from Grissom and went on to Auburn. “We raised them as an Auburn family,” said Newberry. “They both went to Auburn, married Auburn.”
Vivacious, upbeat, and energetic, Newberry’s enthusiasm is contagious. After retiring, Newberry found plenty of meaningful ways to help perpetuate the high quality of life she cherishes in the Huntsville community. Volunteerism is truly her strong suit. Newberry’s involvement spans the arts and culture sector of Huntsville: Arts Huntsville, the Huntsville Museum of Art Guild, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild, the Burritt Museum Board, the Huntsville Library Foundation Board, and the Gothic Guild.
Newberry is an active participant in a large community of volunteers. “I always have loved Huntsville,
I’ve always thought we were a wonderful community,” said Newberry. “Thanks to the vision of those leaders that came before us, we have this wonderful place to live. And I felt that giving back and preserving what we have for future generations was very important. And it just spurred me to volunteer in my own little way, to help the community stay as wonderful as it is.”
“If you look back the 50 to 60 years ago when Huntsville was very tiny and as we began to grow, the strength and the will of the ladies and men who volunteered pushed for the arts and the music,” said Newberry. “People do so joyfully. Many people that volunteer for different organizations, they’ve done it for many years. It’s not just a one- or two-year obligation, it’s a joy that they have. Not only with one, but sometimes several organizations. And it’s almost contagious sometimes, the enthusiasm and the community that we live in.”
“The Huntsville/Madison City/Madison County area has such a perfect balance: strong engineering and technological industries, entrepreneurial opportunities, and a thriving arts community,” Newberry said. “We have our own symphony, the Museum of Art, the Botanical Garden, the Space and Rocket Center, Burritt Museum, Lowe Mill, Fantasy Playhouse, historical sites, and parks to name just a few amazing places in the town we call home.