Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Friday in First Congregational Church on La Salle with Rev. Oscar Shepherd officiating. Visitation will be 4 to 7:00 PM Thursday in the Hurst Funeral Home in La Salle. Addition visitation will be in the church on Friday from 10:00 AM until time of services. Full military honors will be conducted by the La Salle/Oglesby Veterans Memorial Group outside the church following his services. Cremation will follow military services.
Rev. Lewis was born in Brockton, MA on September 6, 1941 to Alton W. and Virginia (Soule) Lewis Sr.
He was a 26 year veteran of the United States Navy, with an impressive and honorable record, receiving many commendations and achieving rank as Senior Chief, an aide to Admiral Warren C. Ham, Jr.
He first met and married Eileen Frank. Two sons were born to them. Later he met and married Ina Bickley and moved to the Iola, Wisconsin area, where he served as Lay Minister at the Iola Methodist Church. When Ina passed away, he met and married Julie Johnson of La Salle and moved to Illinois.
After expressing a desire to go into the ministry, he was mentored by Rev. Dr. Odus Eubanks of First Congregational Church of La Salle, Rev. Oscar Shepherd and Rev. Dr. James Kurtz. He met the requirements, was licensed and ordained as minister in 2004. When Dr. Eubanks retired, he became pastor and has served the Lord at First Congregational Church of La Salle until his time of death.
Rev. Lew had a love for history and participated, with Julie, as a Civil War Re-enactor with two groups in Illinois. His curiosity for seeking information led him to a passion for reading, particularly books on U.S. and World History and, later, religious history and the Gospel, as well as the works of several leaders in the religious Reformation. Sharing the Gospel of the Lord with others was his joy. He also loved traveling, and was able to do so all over the world in the Navy, also visiting each of the Civil War Battle sites, and visiting family in Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Florida and Texas. In 2007, he donated a kidney to his brother.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Julie of La Salle; sons Craig (Imelda) and their four children of Pflugerville, TX; and Andrew, of Seattle WA; step-children Meghan Johnson and her son of Pontiac; Stephen (Brittney) Peterson, and their two sons, of Mesa, AZ and Jeff Peterson of Mesa, AZ. His brother Wayne (Dorothy) Lewis of Plymouth, MA and their children; a brother-in-law Rod(Barbara) Ramsell and their children, of Oklahoma; a special cousin Dotsey (Carroll) Burger, of Boynton Beach, FL; her daugthers, Sandy of Brewer, ME and Pam of Ft. Lauderdale, FL ; an aunt Louise Wiley, of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and her son Robert; childhood friend Richard (Lorraine) Wass of South Berwick, ME. Also sharing his life are many close friends considered family in the Iola/Scandinavia, WI area. He was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Ina.
Online condolences may be viewed and remembrances shared at www.hurstfuneralhomes.com