Vernon "Lew" Lewis, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend passed away on February 7, 2014. He was born to Gertrude and Robert Lewis in Muskegon, Michigan on April 10, 1923. Vernon was a 1941 graduate of Muskegon Senior High School, who enlisted in the U.S. Army, and after basic training attended Flight School in Eagle Pass, Texas. He earned his wings and became a B25 pilot serving in the 12th USAF in Europe, flying over 90 combat missions. Vernon was awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his valor. He also earned the Distinguished Unit Badge and European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal. When called back into service during the Korean conflict, Vernon transported fighter-jets. He often talked about his love of flying; sometimes sharing memories with family and friends.
After military service, Vernon became co-owner of the C.H. Ketchum Company, a food brokerage firm. With his wife, Mary Lou Lewis, he lived and raised their family in San Antonio, then moved to Rockport where they enjoyed retirement with good friends along the Texas Gulf. They moved back to San Antonio in July 2011, residing at the Inn at Los Patios. Vernon was an avid golfer, who made numerous holes in one. He was a former member of the San Antonio Country Club, the Rockport Country Club and the Rockport Coastwatchers.
Vernon was predeceased by his wife of 67 years, Mary Lou Lewis. He is survived by daughter, Barbara Head (Hayden), son Terry Lewis (Dee Dee), grandchildren Dr. Hayden Head III (Alison), Rebecca Welch (Jamin), Jennifer Walker (David), Katie Lewis and Andrew Lewis, and four great-grandchildren, Josie and Eliza Head, and Caroline and Henry Welch.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions honoring Vernon may be made to the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas Park Development Fund, 111 Torcido Drive, San Antonio, or to a
The family wishes to express heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Lloyd Van Winkle and the staff of Vitas Hospice for their loving care of Vernon during his final journey.
There will be a memorial service celebrating Vernon's life on Friday, February 14 at 2:00 p.m. in Chapel House of the Bishop Jones Center, 111 Torcido Drive in San Antonio.
Published in Express-News on Feb. 11, 2014