James W. Lewis

June 21, 1931 ~ October 7, 2020 (age 89)


MADISON-James W. Lewis, age 89, passed away on October 7, 2020. He was born in Auburn Heights, Michigan on June 21, 1931 to Lawrence Lewis and Mrs. Eddie O’Hara. He lived most of his youth in Lake Orion, Michigan and spent many summers with his grandparents in Kentucky. He graduated from Lake Orion High School in 1949. 

He served in the Air Force from 1950-1955 and was stationed in Greenland for one year during the Korean Conflict. It was when he was stationed at Truax Field in Madison that he met Phyllis Fell and they married in 1954. Together they had six children, Vicki (Jim) Anderson, James (Barb) Lewis, Kari (Matt) Sensenbrenner, Lori (Mike) Kief, Conni (Dan) Guilfoil, and Stephani (Gene) Herman who he loved dearly. Jim retired after 30 years in sales from Sears Roebuck & Co. 

Jim had a captivating personality and people were drawn to him. When he walked into a room, he was typically greeted with “Sweet Lew!” He was a wonderful story teller. He loved music and loved to sing and dance. He was a runner long before jogging became popular. He was a champion pool player and, while in the Air Force, he was a competitive boxer. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and his cousin Ramona Mayo who was like a sister and best friend to him. He is survived by his six children, their spouses, 14 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and two very special cousins Malcolm Engleby and Billy Engleby. 

We take comfort in knowing that Jim is now in the company of special loved ones and friends Doug, Bobby, Junior, Mike, and Danny; Bill and Cate; Bear, Rooster, and Francois; RJ, Rudy and Mary; Rube, John, and Vic.

A private family service will be held at Roselawn Memorial Park in Monona. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Jim’s name to the River Food Pantry in Madison. 

To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral store.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family


River Food Pantry
2201 Darwin Road, Madison WI 53704
Tel: 1-608-442-8815

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