Richard Lewis, born October 1942 in Seattle, Wash., passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, June 14, 2014. His wife, Susan and sisters Sandra and Kathi were by his side. Richard had an amazing life that ended far too soon. A graduate of West Point, he served as a Ranger in the U.S. Army and was a pilot in Vietnam. Upon leaving the Army, he joined the San Francisco Police Department in 1966. He often mentioned that his years as a police officer were some of his best. Unfortunately he was shot in the line of duty and had to retire early from the job he loved. During his recovery a friend suggested he visit Cambria...this was in 1977. He never left. During his years in Cambria Richard accomplished much. He became a builder and contractor. He received his law degree which enabled him to work on an environmental project relating to the cleanup of the Colorado River Basin. He helped to establish camps in both Arizona and South Africa for terminally ill children. Since childhood he had an interest in minerals and eventually owned a mine in Mexico and had interests in mines in both South Africa and Argentina. And throughout all of this he maintained his love of nature. His happiest times were spent riding his motorcycle up to Big Sur to view and photograph the California condors. Since their reintroduction to the wild, he had been passionate about the survival of the species. Richard is survived by his wife Susan; sisters Sandra Sutton, Kathi Winger, and Judi Lewis; brother Fred Lewis; son Douglas Lewis; daughter Kimberly; four grandchildren and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. A celebration of his life will take place in Washington. The family requests donations in his name be made to the Ventana Wildlife Society (19045 Portola Drive, Salinas, CA 93908. www.ventanaws.org)
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Published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on June 22, 2014