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Norfolk - Beautiful, strong, sweet Michelle passed away of kidney disease on March 28, 2013. She was a fighter until the end. In the months preceding her death she was surrounded by family and friends who basked in her ever-joyful, kind spirit and witty remarks. Sincere and special to all who knew her, Michelle's friendly and loving nature enriched the lives of everyone she touched. Given a chance to make a toast or speech, she always had the right words and sentiment for the occasion.
Michelle was born October 22, 1969 with Down syndrome in Singapore. She lived overseas for 13 years in Jakarta, Islamabad, Bogota, Tegucigalpa, Manila, Valencia and in the U.S. in Davis, Reston, Centerville, Vienna and Norfolk. Her last six years were at Presbyterian Homes, a residential community in Zuni, VA.
She loved singing and dancing, bowling, country music, Christmas and romantic movies, watching her shows and DVDs from Papa, her loyal dog, Michou, talking with friends, playing games and going out to eat.
She was employed in service jobs for Marriott Hotel, Chesapeake Seafood House, Roy Rogers, Giant Food, Pizza Hut, Panera and Harris Teeter. Ever-friendly Michelle was loved by all her customers, managers and co-workers.
She participated in Special Olympics overseas and in the U.S. in bowling, basketball, swimming, skiing and track.
When Michelle received an award at her John Marshall Special School graduation she made an impromptu speech which made her teachers and family laugh and cry. That was her special magic.
Her dedicated mother, always by her side, cared for Michelle in the final phases of her illness. A special thanks to Bon Secours Hospice Care staff Diane, Denise, Debra and Janet.
Michelle is survived by her mother, Eva Lepoutre, her father Jerry Lewis (Ann Belkov), sister Lisa Lynch (TJ) and brother Steven Lewis (Lisa Ann). She is also survived by nieces Mackenzie, Avery and Aynsley; and nephew, Bryson. Her extended family includes relatives in Switzerland, South Africa, the Netherlands and Florida.
She will be greatly deeply missed by her family, friends and her best friend Cheryl Daniel.
She loved parties and presents and especially Coca-Cola, so with glasses raised high, let's toast to the joy of our lives. When she passed away, a bright light went out.
Michelle will continue to change lives as her body has been donated for research to save lives.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in her honor can be made to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens (6700 Azalea Garden Road, Norfolk, VA 23518).
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Apr. 7, 2013