Philanthropist, cancer research advocate, and community volunteer Lori Newcomb passed away after a long battle with ovarian cancer.

After her diagnosis, Newcomb and her husband Chris utilized the family business, Newk’s Eatery, to raise awareness for ovarian cancer. Lori founded ‘Newk’s Cares’ and sponsored the annual Ovarian Cycle event to help other women learn about early detection. To date, the family has raised more than $1M toward the cause.

Newk’s issued the following statement late Friday afternoon:

Lori was diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer after her 43rd birthday in February of 2013. For six years, she fought a brave battle. In 2014, Lori established Newk’s Cares, the philanthropic arm of Newk’s Eatery. It became her life’s mission to improve the success rate of early diagnosis by funding research and creating greater awareness for the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Lori helped many women through the process of early detection and led the charge in raising $1 million toward research for the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA) – the world’s largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research while supporting women and their families.

Friends say during the past six years, she was determined to do as much as she could for others with the time she had left. The ‘Newk’s Cares’ initiative might have been enough of a legacy, but those her knew her best say despite chemo and the physical trials of cancer she continued to champion other projects in the Jackson community and was a constant presence in her young family’s life.

Close friend Cherry Duckworth said, “She handled everything with grace and never wanted anyone to know what she was going through, no matter how difficult it got. Her focus was always on others. She was also an incredible leader. Anything she took on was going to be done to the very best of her ability.”

Another friend, Tyler Armstrong summarized Newcomb’s ebullient personality and concern for others when she sent this picture. 

“The true meaning of the fruit of the spirit. A friend to all.”

Newcomb is survived by her husband Chris and their three children Madison, Blair, and Hayes.

Visitation will be held Sunday from 4 to 6 pm at Christ United Methodist Church. Visitation continues on Monday from 11 to 1pm with the funeral immediately afterward.

The family has requested memorials to be sent to the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance.