Lewis R. (Lew) Sharpless Sr., 86, of Millville died on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012, after a brief illness at the South Jersey Healthcare Regional Medical Center of Vineland.
Born in Millville, he was a lifelong resident. Lew was a student at Millville High School, where he was a standout football player. During the summer months, he was a lifeguard at Camp Ockanickon. Lew left high school in his senior year to enter the armed services at 17 years old. He enlisted into the Army Air Corps and served during World War II. Lew was a gunnery sergeant and tail gunner, and flew 50 missions on the B-24. His crew crashed on their first and last missions, and he was awarded the Purple Heart. After the war, Lew went back to high school and graduated finishing his senior year. Lew also played for the Big Blues football team in Millville. He was retired from Wheaton Industries after 41 years of service working in the Mould Shop as a mould maker. Lew also was the former longtime president of Local 219. He was a lifelong woodworker, and enjoyed working in his wood shop. Many family members and friends have had their favorite furniture pieces built by Lew.
Lew was very active and enjoyed model airplanes. He spent many hours on his motorcycle, and always enjoyed riding. He had crossed the United States three times on his "bike." Lew was an avid fisherman and enjoyed many days on the bay with "Captain Dave." He was a member of the American Legion Nabb-Leslie Post No. 82, the Millville Moose and the Millville Elks Lodge BPOE No. 580. Lew was also selected the Elks Old Time Athlete in 1998. Lew always loved his family and quality time spent with them. He especially enjoyed the time spent on his back porch and in "the shop" surrounded by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Lew will be sadly but fondly missed by numerous family members and friends.
He is survived by his wife, Lee at home; sons, Lew and Janie Sharpless of Pocono Lake, Pa., Dave and Andrea Sharpless of Millville, Jim and Joan Sharpless of Millville; daughters, Linda Hinckley of Millville, Donna and Denny Morgan of Millville; brother, Lawrence "Bud" and Vida Sharpless of Mullica Hill; eight grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. Lew was predeceased by his first wife, Irene; and sisters, Frances Prichett and Joan Riggins.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday in the Rocap Shannon Memorial Funeral Home of Millville. Burial will follow in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Relatives and friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday and again from 10 to 11 a.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the memorial contributions can be made to: South Jersey Healthcare HospiceCare, P.O. Box 160 Bridgeton, NJ 08302; or to the Great Dane Rescue, www.MAGDRL.org.
Written condolences can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.