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"Bob" Lewis Jr.
Asheville - Robert Paul (Bob) Lewis, Jr., 69, a local commercial realtor, passed away at his home on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, two years after being diagnosed with ALS. Bob was born on August 6, 1943, in New Tazewell, TN, to the late Robert Paul Lewis, Sr. and Edna Mae Ritchie Lewis.
Bob grew up in New Tazewell where he enjoyed riding horses and driving the tractor on the family farm, just blocks away from his home on Main Street. In 1961, he graduated from Claiborne County High School, where he played basketball and was named class Salutatorian.
Bob attended Carson-Newman College for two years. He transferred to the University of Tennessee Knoxville and graduated in 1965. He remained an enthusiastic supporter of the Vols throughout his life. He especially enjoyed attending football games. He was a past president of the WNC Alumni Chapter and received the National Alumni Association Chapter Service Award in June, 2002. Bob is a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity.
At U-T, Bob met Linda Hartsook; they married on August 7, 1965 and settled in New Tazewell, where Bob began a career in banking. In 1967, they moved to Asheville where Bob continued to work in banking. In 1971, the family moved to Franklin, NC where Bob served as President of the Franklin Jaycees and in 1974, received the chapter's Distinguished Service Award. They returned to Asheville in 1975.
After a twenty year career in banking, Bob founded Lewis Real Estate in 1985. Originally a residential property management company, the company evolved into a commercial real estate company. Projects that Bob worked to develop include Buck Shoals Business Park, Vista Industrial Center, Westside Square, Brickton Industrial Park, Asheville Commerce Park, Village at Biltmore Lake, Enka Center, and Asheville Office Park.
As a member of the Asheville Downtown Rotary Club, Bob was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was proud of his participation as a chaperone in the Honor Air Project, which sponsored visits by World War II veterans to the memorial in Washington, DC. Bob was a past Board Member for Suntrust Bank and FCA.
An active member of First Baptist Church, Bob served many years as an usher. He enjoyed standing at "his" door and welcoming both members and guests to the sanctuary. He was a former deacon and was a founding member of the Pilgrim Sunday School Class, having been a member for 27 years. He also served on various committees including the One Oak Plaza Committee on which he guided the church in the purchase and management of the One Oak property. Bob served on a regional committee which raised funds to establish the Rickman Nursing Care Center at the Baptist Retirement Home in Asheville.
Bob enjoyed fly fishing, hiking, pheasant hunting, and anything that involved spending time with his family. He regularly attended any event in which his children or grandchildren were participating.
Those who survive to cherish memories of him are his loving wife of 47 years, Linda Hartsook Lewis; a son, Martin Lewis and his wife Chrissie of Asheville; a daughter, Ashley Patriacca and her husband Rick of Eagle, CO; five grandchildren: Anna, Oliver, Ella, and Isaac Lewis and Ceily Patriacca; a brother, Dr. Ritchie Lewis of Davidson, NC and several nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to express appreciation to Dr. James Hoer and his nurse Camilla and to the Bayada caregivers—Phoebe and Evelyn, who have been with us since the beginning of this journey, and other current caregivers, Ray, Tom, April, and Jeremy. They not only cared for Bob but also extended their loving care to our entire family.
The family will receive friends on Monday, February 4, from 5-7 pm at Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian on Long Shoals Road in Arden. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, February 5, at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church in Asheville.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to RiverLink, PO Box 15488, Asheville, NC 28813 or to Rotary 7670 , Scholarship for Veterans, PO Box 1954, Asheville, NC 28802.
A memorial register is available online at www.grocefuneralhome.com.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times from Feb. 2 to Feb. 4, 2013