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Barbara Jean Lewis


1943 - 2019
Barbara Jean Lewis Obituary
Barbara Jean Lewis, age 75, Inverness, Florida passed away August 26, 2019 in Citrus Memorial Hospital. Barbara was born in Salem, IN on November 8, 1943 to the late Oliver and Audrey Jean (Smith) Tolbert and came to this area in 1970 from Scottsburg, IN. She was employed at Citrus High School for 30 years, where she served as the face of the front office and was secretly known as the "real" boss.
Left to cherish her memory are her three children, Mark Hancock and his wife, Lorelei of Clermont, FL, Lori Hancock Galiana and her husband, Alex of Marco Island, FL, and Cheryl Lewis of Palm Beach, FL; 5 grandchildren, J.T. Hancock, Parker Hancock, A.J. Galiana, Max Galiana, and Savannah Howard. Additionally, her dearest friends from early childhood, Cindy Brannen, Diane Maxwell, Judy Rodriquez, Vickie Murray, Charlotte Mobley, Ruthie Maryland, and Claire Woodruff - more commonly known as her "Ya-Ya Sisters". They have all been friends since middle school, traveling together to places such as Albany, Savannah, Italy, Paris, and Graceland.
Upon moving to Inverness, Barb became a dedicated member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority, forming lifetime friendships and bringing lots of laughter into her life.
She will be sorely missed by the thousands of Citrus High students who affectionately knew her as Mama Lewis because she treated them as her own children by consoling them in their worst moments, cheering them on in their best, and by giving them a good finger shaking when they needed straightening out. Barb loved her CHS faculty family and after retirement became a proud member of the Old Goats retirement group.
Mama Lewis loved to watch her CHS Hurricanes and lived to cheer on her beloved Gators as a season ticket holder for UF football games for 38 years. The neighbors all heard her as she watched them play on TV; her last memory of the Gators was watching them beat the Miami Hurricanes.
Her affection for animals was endless as she always had pets running around the house or in her lap. When she eventually got to a point where she couldn't care for animals of her own, she took to the internet to watch giraffes across the globe; she became emotionally attached to them as if they were her own pets and gave her loved ones daily updates on giraffe births across the world.
"Mama Lewis' Homecoming" is scheduled for Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 3:00 PM in the Citrus High School Cafeteria. Pastor Doug Alexander along with many family members and friends will share their memories and celebrate the life of Barbara Lewis. You may fellowship with the family from 2:00 PM until the service begins. In lieu of flowers, contributions will be accepted for the Barbara J. Lewis Memorial Scholarship fund at the event on Sept. 14th or mail to: Brannen Bank, 320 US Highway So., Inverness, FL 34450. Indicate check to: Barbara J. Lewis Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Published in Citrus County Chronicle on Sept. 8, 2019
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