John Eugene Lewis, Sr., better known as Jack, passed away at the age of 71 after a long fight with cancer, on April 1, 2014, surrounded by family and friends. Born on February 18, 1943 in
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Kingman, Arizona, he moved to Alaska in 1959, where he met his wife of 49 years and raised two children. His love of the Alaskan wilderness was his drive to make a career out of smoke jumping & firefighting with the Bureau of Land Management. He finished a distinguished career as a Fire Management Specialist, with many historical fires put down during his 29 year career. In the 80's, Jack launched a business called Arctic Sub-Arctic Aquatic Pararescue, A.S.A.P. His leadership, instruction, and creation of new training methods extended from many Alaska fire departments to as far as Hong Kong, China. Although he had done everything in the outdoors of Alaska, his true love was his family. His sister-in-law, Nina, was the first to call him "A Real Man." You could see this in the way he loved his wife more than life itself; his children were the most important thing to him, but his love extended beyond that. He loved his entire family, relatives and friends, if you needed him he would be there. If you needed money, he would give you his last nickel. You could always count on him. His jokes, his smiles, his laughs cannot ever be duplicated. No one will ever be able to replace that great father, uncle, brother-in-law, loyal friend, and especially that great husband. Survivors include his wife Coco Lewis; children John Lewis Jr. (Wendy Tucker), and Angelina Kauffold (Jason); mother-in-law, Anita Estrada; sister-in-laws, Connie Estrada, Nina Opyt (Joe), Guisell Carrion (Humberto); brother-in-laws; Ron Estrada (Mary) & Roger Estrada, grandchildren, CherriMarie Lewis & Ricky Kauffold; nieces Anne & Becky Estrada. A celebration of Jack's life will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 336 S. Halifax Drive, Ormond Beach, Florida, on April 12th from 4-6pm. Donations can be given to the First United Methodist Church of Ormond Beach in lieu of flowers.
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Apr. 10, 2014