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Lewis John Vanderzyl


1929 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Lewis John Vanderzyl Obituary
LEWIS JOHN VANDERZYL
Lewis John Vanderzyl, life long resident of Riverside, CA, was born on November 26, 1929. He passed away peacefully at his home on February 21, 2018. He was 89 years old. Lew loved the city of his birth and spent his life trying to make Riverside a better place. After attending Palm School, Central Middle School and Poly High, Lew went on to attend Riverside Community College before shipping out with the 40th Infantry Division to serve in the Korean War. After the war, he finished his education at Claremont Men's College and accepted a position at Citizens National Bank. Lew soon realized that he wanted to devote his life to community service so he returned to Claremont Graduate School where he earned a Masters Degree in American History and a teaching credential. He began his teaching career in 1960 and remained an educator until he retired in 1991, serving as a teacher and later as an administrator in several area schools. He was an assistant principal at Chemawa Middle School and Poly High and a principal at Sierra and Central Middle Schools. In 1994 Lew won a seat on Riverside Unified's Board of Trustees. He served in that position until retirement in 2011. In all Lew spent more than 50 years serving the students of Riverside. Over the years Lew found additional ways to serve his community. As a boy, he smudged in Riverside's orange groves, including his own grandfather's grove, and belonged to several youth service organizations. His adult service included leadership in the Riverside Kiwanis Club, the Riverside Land Conservancy, the Youth Service Center, the City's Cultural Heritage Board, and the Community Foundation. Lew was an avid reader and found joy and camaraderie in his book club. After his tennis playing days were over he enjoyed attending the sporting matches of his daughters and grandchildren and teaching his grandkids to play Hearts. He enjoying doing the NY Times crosswords in ink, and traveling, especially with his family. His favorite destination was Sea Ranch on the northern California coast. Lew is survived by his wife, Mollie; his children, Thalia (Jon), Lisa, Julie (Randy) and step children Kathy (Rich) and Tom (Razelle), as well as his 11 grandchildren, Tommy (Jamie), Connor, Stephanie, Kellen, Bobby (Alie), Alaina, Jake, Leah, Melanie, Joey and Sammy, and by great grandchildren, Jakie, Zoey and Gabriella. He will be missed by all of them.
A memorial celebration will be held on March 10, at 2 PM in the Lewis J. Vanderzyl Multipurpose Room at Central Middle School. In lieu of flowers donations are encouraged to the CurePSP Foundation or to the Lewis Vanderzyl Scholarship Fund c/o the Riverside Educational Enrichment Foundation (REEF.) Both have convenient websites.
Published in Press-Enterprise from Mar. 3 to Mar. 4, 2018
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