Donald E. Lewis

Donald E. Lewis

Mr. Donald E. Lewis was born January 7, 1921, in Atlantic, Iowa, the son of Charles and Leta Lewis. He was raised in Iowa until the age of 13, when his parents moved to Oregon. He attended public schools in Villisca, Iowa; Talent, Ashland, and Corvallis, Ore. He served in the United States Army from 1942 to 1945, during which time he fought with the 104th Infantry Division in Europe.

Donald married Martha Dearing in Corvallis, Ore. in 1942, after graduating from Oregon State University. He was soon inducted into the army. His tour of duty took him to the European theatre where he was a forward air spotter for the infantry he survived a terribly harsh environment, he survived and was grateful to return home in 1945. He promptly returned to school and acquired a master's degree, again from Oregon State University. He subsequently completed additional graduate work at the University of Oregon, Stanford University and Harvard. He joined the faculty at Southern Oregon University in 1947 where he served for 35 years, first as instructor in business, then business manager, Assistant to the President, and finally Dean of Administration. During these years he oversaw much of the building program on campus. Mr. Lewis retired from the University in 1982.

Mr. Lewis was an active participant in church and community affairs in Ashland. He attended the Methodist church and enjoyed singing in the choir for many years. He was an early member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Ashland Lion's Club for 25 years, during which time he served as president. He was an elected official of the Ashland City Council for two terms from 1958 to 1966. He was a founding member and President of the Board of Trustees for the Rogue Valley Manor. He was awarded the Distinguished Citizen Award by the Junior Chamber of Commerce on two occasions, first in 1951 and second in 1953. The Senior Housing Center in Ashland, providing housing for seniors on fixed incomes, bears his name.

In addition to these activities and many more, he was devoted to his family, actively supporting his children and taking part in many of their activities as they grew up in the Rogue Valley. He loved singing and played several musical instruments. He hosted a yearly family reunion, and his musically inclined family joined him in playing and singing during the evening hours. He also became a licensed pilot and enjoyed sightseeing ventures over the Oregon countryside to relax.

He is remembered by his wife, Martha; and children, Dan of Berkeley, Calif., April, of Portland, Ore., Greg, of Duarte, Calif., Eric, of Vancouver, Wash., Kevin, of Eugene, Ore., Charles, of Bend, Ore., Tim, of Salem, Ore.; 15 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren.

Condolences may be sent to Martha Lewis at 960 Boone Rd SE, Salem, OR, 97306. A memorial service will be held in the next few weeks. Donations may be sent to the Donald E. Lewis Retirement Center in Ashland.

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