EMANUEL R. LEWIS

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  • "Dearest Eleanor, My heart is with you during this time and..."
    - Carlottia Scott
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  • "I am so sorry for your loss. May the Most High God comfort..."
    - McCarthy
  • "What a wonderful man -- scholar, historian, world traveler..."
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LEWIS EMANUEL RAYMOND LEWIS Emanuel Raymond Lewis, Librarian Emeritus, the last and longest serving Librarian of the US House of Representatives, a prolific author, archivist, educator, humorist, historian, illustrator, tenured psychology professor, inveterate traveler, and recognized expert on military and naval history, died May 14 in Suburban Hospital, Bethesda, MD. The cause of death was dementia. He was 85. Dr. Lewis was appointed House Librarian in 1973, and served until January 1995. The Library was the official custodian of all documents generated by the House of Representatives. Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), a long-time friend of Dr. Lewis, said upon learning of his death, "Ray Lewis was a man of the House, and so much more. Ray lived a life of vast experience - he was a genuine Renaissance man. He loved his work, and his scholarship and service to the House and to this country left us all enriched." Born to Siberian immigrants in Oakland, CA, November 30, 1928, Dr. Lewis honored his father, Jacob A. Lewis, in 2008, by donating ten acres to the city of Hayward, CA - the "J.A. Lewis Park" is now part of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District. In 1948 the elder Lewis donated land in San Francisco to build Congregation Ner Tamid in memory of his father Abraham A. Lanis. Dr. Lewis attended the University of California at Berkeley (BA/MA) and received his PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Oregon.From his 1954-1956 service as an officer in military intelligence, Dr. Lewis developed a life-long interest in the history of US military architecture and technology. His seminal work, "Seacoast Fortifications of the United States" published by the Smithsonian Institution Press in 1970, influenced legions of scholars interested in coast defense. The State of California commissioned Dr. Lewis to prepare "A History of San Francisco Harbor Defense Installations: Forts Baker, Barry, Cronkhite, and Funston," which was later instrumental in the formation of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). Dr. Lewis testified before the House of Representatives during the 1971 Congressional hearings establishing GGNRA. Dr. Lewis continued to publish widely in military and naval-related journals including "Military Affairs," the "U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings," "The Military Engineer," "Capitol Studies," "U. S Naval Institute Proceedings," "Dictionary of American History," "Encyclopedia of the United States Congress," and "Warship International." Editors of the latter publication honored his work in their annual "Best Articles of the Year" on three occasions. Dr. Lewis had a passion for travel. Accompanied by his wife, he visited 112 countries over 40 years. In 1999, he experienced a lifetime thrill when he met the Dalai Lama at a dinner in Washington. The Lewises had recently visited Lhasa, Tibet, and at the dinner presented the Dalai Lama with photos of Norbulingka, the summer palace from which he escaped the Chinese in March 1959. Dr. Lewis is survived by his wife of 47 years, Eleanor G. Lewis of Washington, DC; a son by his now deceased first wife, Joseph J. Lewis of Eugene, Oregon; cousin Ruth Lycette, her son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Kathy Lycette of Palo Alto and San Carlos CA respectively; cousin-in-law, Eve DeLanis of Virginia Beach, VA; sister-in-law, Roberta Foulke and husband, Robert, of Las Vegas, NV; 10 nieces and nephews, and many great nieces and nephews. Burial will be private at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. Dr. Lewis' family invites you to celebrate his life Sunday, June 22, from 4 to 6 p.m. at River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6301 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20817.

Published in The Washington Post from June 18 to June 20, 2014