L. Newby Day
L. Newby Day, 84, of Charlottesville, died on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at home after a long
illness, with her daughter and beloved dogs by her side.
Newby was born on October 16, 1933, in Washington, D.C., to Robert Eugene Newby, an
FBI agent, and his wife, Virginia Morgan Newby.
A fourth generation Washingtonian, she attended Woodrow Wilson High School (1951)
and the University of Maryland, where she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma
sorority. After graduating with a degree in zoology, Newby married Dr. John Ronald Day Jr.
at the National Cathedral in Washington, and they lived over Call Carl's Garage in Bethesda,
Maryland, before moving to Chevy Chase. There she raised two daughters, Lisa Demoville
and Marcella Morgan, and owned and bred many Sealyham terriers, who ruled her home
alongside three parrots, crows, a mynah bird, and many other stray animals, including a
raccoon, a pig and a monkey. Her house was always filled with fun and laughter and
After the death of her husband, an obstetrician, in 1972, Newby worked in the alumnae office
of the Holton-Arms School for many years and volunteered for causes dear to her heart.
In 1979, she moved to Charlottesville where she lived downtown and worked at Ash Lawn,
running a tearoom for visitors. After that, she held various jobs, in gift shops, employment
agencies, and in the Ivy post office. In all these roles, she made many friends and took a real
interest in everyone. Newby had strong beliefs and bottomless intellectual curiosity, in
language, medicine, history, gardening, politics and countless other subjects. She was as
eager to converse with an intelligent four-year-old as with a respected surgeon. She treated
everyone she met equally and with respect. She adored talking to people from across the
political spectrum, and would debate without rancor. She never failed to find joy and humor in
everything and (almost) everyone. Newby adored holidays and celebrated them with a
passion, baking birthday cakes, delivering Easter baskets in the night, creating remarkable
Halloween costumes, writing penny dreadfuls for Valentine's Day, or making elaborate
An Episcopalian by birth and choice, she embraced diverse religions, and adored learning
about rituals and beliefs. She was many things to many people and everything to some.
Among those who will miss her radiant smile and quick wit are her daughters and son-in-law,
Marcella Day and Lisa and Gregory Hopper, and her much-loved grandchildren, Peter and
William Hopper. Her sister and brother-in-law, Anne and Leonard Williams, preceded her in
death. She leaves behind three nieces, a nephew, and their families, as well as a fiercely
devoted group of friends whom she considered her non-biological family, particularly
Wolfgang Daw, who has lived with the family for many years. The medical staff of the
University of Virginia, in particular Dr. Daniel Becker, ensured she had more than nine lives.
Michael Swift, her devoted caregiver and friend, extended and enlivened her life.
Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, Newby would appreciate contributions to the School of Medicine at the
University of Virginia Health Foundation
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.hillandwood.com