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Jane Lewis


1951 - 2017
Jane Lewis Obituary
Jane B. Lewis

Jun 5, 1951 - Aug 24, 2017

San Francisco lost an artist and a kind soul with the death of Jane Brown Lewis on Aug. 24. She was 66.

Until she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer around Mother's Day 2015, Jane was one of the lucky people. Lucky because she made a living following her passion as a textile designer.

"I like to look at things and redesign them in my mind," she wrote in the "about" section of her website, janelewisdesign.com.

"A shirt, a shower curtain, a pillow, a watch, a dog collar, a rug, a sock, a set of placemats, a quilt, whatever. Maybe a single color needs to be a touch more vivid or subtle."

Over four plus decades, Jane worked at several different companies, including Spumoni, Esprit (during its heyday in the '80s), and P&B Textiles, and co-founded her own company, Lewis & Lee, specializing in infant and childrenswear.

With the advent of digital era, she didn't want to be left behind. She returned to school in 2000 to learn website development. The digital skills she picked up, paired with her years of textile design experience, opened doors that lasted the rest of her professional career.

Even while undergoing treatment for cancer, Jane found time to teach. As the resident quilting design expert at the Textile Design Lab, she helped students improve their craft on online forums.

Until her failing health stopped her, she also produced hand-designed watches. This allowed her to further delight in a lifelong adoration of watches and clocks, dating back to childhood and her first rhinestone encrusted robin egg's blue Baby Ben windup alarm clock.

Perhaps Jane's greatest masterpiece was her family. In San Francisco she would meet her husband, Zion Lavie, with whom she had a son, Elan Lavie.

They traveled together to Israel. Jane and Zion cheered Elan through countless baseball games and Jane in particular passed along her love of cats. Zion and Elan were devoted to Jane and at her bedside up until the end.

Born and reared in New York City, Jane attended the High School of Music and Art, where she studied painting. She later earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from SUNY Buffalo.

After getting her start as a designer in New York, she decided to follow a close friend to the Bay Area in the late '70s, and made San Francisco her home.

Jane was preceded in death by her mother, Mildred Lewis, and later her father, Milton Lewis, a well-known New York journalist who lived his final years at the Jewish Home in San Francisco to be near her.

In addition to her husband and son, a brother, Peter Lewis of Seattle, survives Jane, as do her many close and wonderful friends and relatives. Remembrances are suggested to https://www.gofundme.com/JaneLewisTextileScholarship

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 3, 2017
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