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Phillip Harold Lewis

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Phillip Harold Lewis, loving husband, father, and grandfather, peacefully passed away on Dec. 10, 2011. He was born in Chicago, IL, on July 31, 1922, and attended Lane Technical High School, graduating in 1940. Following United States military service in Alaska from 1942 to 1945, he graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1949, he married his beloved, Sally Rappaport, to whom he was devoted for over 50 years until she passed away in 2003. He earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. He worked at the Field Museum of Natural History from 1952 until 1992 as a curator of anthropology. His area of study was Melanesian culture and art, and he traveled to Papua New Guinea on three different occasions to do extensive field work. While he was in New Guinea, he collected hundreds of items, many of which are still on exhibit at the museum. His exhibit on Melanesian culture can still be seen on the upper level of the Field Museum. Dr. Lewis is remembered as a kind and gentle man. He was skilled photographer and artist. While he was in high school, he built a violin, on which all three of his children learned to play. He instilled a love for music and art in all of his children. His two daughters and two sons-in-law are professional musicians and his granddaughter is pursuing a career in music. Survivors include his son David Lewis (Rockville, MD); daughters Betty Lewis (Wilmette, IL) and Emily Lewis Mantell (Orland Park, IL); sister Judy Natkin (Chicago, IL); two grandchildren, Sonia Mantell and Evan Lewis; two son-in-laws, Paul Zafer and Matt Mantell and daughter-in-law, Linda Cruciani. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Gladys Garabedian, of Sunnyvale, CA.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Dec. 15, 2011
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