Rioletta "Rio" G. Newberry

East Tawas, Michigan
August 7, 1949 - February 8, 2021

Obituary Notice

Rioletta "Rio" G. Newberry, of East Tawas, passed away peacefully under the loving care of her husband and hospice on Monday, February 8, 2021, age 71 years. Rio was born to the late Charles and Ruth (Opalla) Viar in Germany on August 7, 1949. After her father was honorably discharged from the military, the family moved back to the Tawas Area and ran the family restaurant business, Harbor Lights and C-Vee's in East Tawas and Oscoda. Rio graduated from Tawas Area High School with the class of 1968 and continued to work with her parents in the restaurant business. For a short time, she moved out to California and worked with an all female painting company where she could use her God given talents. Rio was an amazingly gifted artist who could create virtually anything she dreamed. She truly had a perfected attention to detail and creation and Rio would exemplify her gifts through her art she made! Rio married her husband and truly her best friend, Richard "Chief" Christian, on December 9, 1998 in Tawas City. Rio and Chief absolutely loved to go fishing and travel all over the state and attend automobile races. She will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her! Rio is survived by her beloved husband, Richard Christian of East Tawas; and her daughter, Troye McWilliams of Alpena. She is preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Ruth Viar and her aunt Clara. Per her wishes, cremation has taken place. An online guest registry is available to leave a condolence for her family at


Rio was Bonnie Bukoski (Brooks) best friends will in high school and after high schoo. While I was in Turkey they room together. There together now as angels. Love you both.
— Harold (Rusty) Bukoskl
So sorry to hear this sad news.
So sorry I didn't visit when there was a chance.
Bless you Chief for the caregiver you have become.
Another Angel to watch over us.
— Tommylee
I am so sorry to hear of Rio's passing. She will forever be missed, so many things left unsaid, but didn't take away the love we shared growing up. Richard you truly are an angel for all you have done for Rio and her folks. May God Bless you!!
— Marti Long Diamond
So sorry for you loss. We had some fun times working together at the party store. RIP
— Sherry
so sorry to read this wish i could have visited her at her home . she is now in heaven where god takes over. stay strong chief it will be rough for awhile
— Ronald Brown
So sorry to hear of her passing , Rio and Chief were Great friends , she will be surely missed.
— Mark McIsaac
Rick, We know some of the illness Rio had and knew some day she would leave us all. I am so saddened by her illness and passing. Mike and I stayed twice with you both and enjoyed that time we had with you. My heartfelt prayers will be with you. Hugs from Mike and Debbie in Mobile, Alabama.
— Debbie LaLonde Smith
Rick thank you so much for loving her and taking care of her. I personally know how much she loved you . You were her hero. She was one of a kind.
— Jo
Sorry for your loss rick. Rio is one of a kind and I will miss her. In the days ahead remember the good days and smile. U was the rock she needed in life. I'm proud to know u both. A great friend. Brother. Jeff
— Jeff hammond
Rio. May your wings open even wider in heaven๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒˆ
— Tamara DeNell
Rick I am so sorry to hear of Rio's passing, I know she has put up a very brave fight with the disease she has had for years. Have wanted to stop to see how both of you were doing but time slips away to fast. Enjoyed having both of you as friends and know this is going to be very difficult for you after being there always for her. Prayers to you and loved ones.
— Dale Procunier

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