Cover photo for Ray Lewis's Obituary

Ray Lewis

April 1, 1925 — December 29, 2020

Ray Lewis

Ray Emerson Lewis

April 1, 1925 – December 29, 2020

With love and profound sadness, the family of Ray Emerson Lewis announce his passing in Spokane, Washington from Covid19.  Dad knew the vaccines were close at hand and about three weeks before his passing woke up from a nap and asked was he supposed to be getting his vaccine.  So close…and yet so far.

In his 95 plus years, Ray lived a full life.  He was born April 1, 1925 in Portsmouth, Ohio.  He grew up in Portsmouth with his mother, Garnet; his father, Everett and his younger sister Mary.  In his later years, Ray shared fond memories of his childhood and youth with his family including the fact that even during the Great Depression his father had kept food on the table and a pony for him and Mary to ride.  At the age of 95, Ray reminisced to his eldest daughter about a song that was dear to his heart…Beautiful Ohio was originally written in 1918 and became the State song of Ohio many years later.

November 23, 1947 Ray married Barbara Jean Brown in Eerie, Pennsylvania three months after they met.  They celebrated 71 and a half years of marriage before her passing July 1, 2019.  Ray was a Mechanical Engineer and his career required that he and Barbara live in many US and Canadian cities.  Thankfully Barbara was adventurous and both of them embraced each community they lived in by connecting with their church family and making friends with neighbours.  Ray also had a dry sense of humour which helped him through the day to day ups and downs of life.  Even when confined to a wheelchair the last years of his life, Ray was a quick wit and provided levity for his family, which in turn helped them to better cope with the reality of the poor physical quality of his life.

Up until the age of 90, Ray was riding his bike and helping Barbara in the garden among other activities.  As a young father he enjoyed fishing in Corpus Christi, Texas and later introduced his children to skiing on Mount Seymour in metro Vancouver and camping each summer in British Columbia.

Ray and Barbara were blessed with five children; Linna, Kent, Leslie, Laurie and Lorinda.  Each of them would tell you that their Dad was a very humble, honest and giving man.  He never wanted for himself, but for those whom he loved and those he barely knew.  A perfect example was the day he picked up a hitchhiker and when finding out the man was homeless, brought him into our family home giving him many weeks of shelter and food.  One of life’s saddest moments for Ray was holding his daughter Leslie’s hand as she lost her battle with cancer at age 39.

Ray was predeceased by his parents, Everett and Garnet Lewis; his sister, Mary Millard; his wife, Barbara Jean Lewis (ne Brown); his daughter, Leslie Jean Amend (ne Lewis).  He is survived by his children Linna Morgan (Ian) – Victoria, B.C.; Kent Lewis – Spokane, Washington; Laurie Schnarr (Perry) – Maple Ridge, B.C.; Lorinda Hall (Jeffrey)  - Fort Worth, Texas.  He is also survived by his former son-in-law, David Amend (Leslie) and by grandchildren Michael Rose (Jackie), Bria Cridland (Kyle), Brynn Havinga (Nick), Lauren Ellis (Mitch), Travis Hall, Preston Hall and Nathan Hall.  Ray was blessed with five great-grandchildren; Jacob Rose, Isabel Rose, Mya Cridland, Emily Cridland and Stella Jean Amend.

Ray and Barbara were both very generous and philanthropic persons.  In lieu of flowers, the family is grateful if you make a donation in Ray’s honour to the charity of your choice.

Because of the pandemic, a family graveside memorial and celebration of his long life will be planned once it is safe to do so and the Canadian/US border is reopened.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ray Lewis, please visit our flower store.

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