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Waupaca County man loses wife to cancer, home to fire within days

WAUPACA COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY)- A tragic story out of Waupaca County, where a man lost his house to a fire Wednesday morning just days after losing his wife to cancer.

Chari Newby
Chari Newby (photo provided)

Chris Newby says his wife, Chari, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 1998 and suffered from a recurring cancer because of radiation treatment.

The couple just moved back to Wisconsin from Colorado to be closer to family.

Standing outside what’s left of his house in the Town of Dayton Chris Newby is almost beyond words.

“We used to be a team, but now it’s just me,” he said, having to pick up the pieces after a fire while planning Chari’s funeral at the same time.

“Chari was the sweetest, kindest, caring person that worked in the health care industry. She was a nurse. She devoted her life to helping other people,” said Newby.

In an effort to help cover the cost of Chari’s funeral friends had already set up a GoFundMe page, but now they say there’s an even greater need.

Samantha Marcelain, who organized the effort, said, “Both of them were the type of people that if you were in need. Even if it was something stupid you did, they would laugh at you, call you an idiot and still give you a handout.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. The property is covered by insurance, but it remains unclear how long the claim process might take.

Newby added, “The things that my wife had are the part that are a little irreplaceable. You know, the things that my wife and I did together, and the pictures and things like that, they’re gone and there’s no way I’ll get them back.”

For now, Newby’s focusing on his kids who are grown up to take his mind off the loss.

“So we’ll just try to get by from here,” he said.

Courtney Terlecki

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