Robert W. Lewis, 89, RochesterPublished 10:12am Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Robert (Bob) W. Lewis, 89, of Rochester, Minn., formerly of Austin, Minn., and Park Rapids, Minn., passed away Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, of complications from pneumonia and congestive heart failure.
Bob was born Oct. 23, 1923, on the family farm in Berlin, N.D., to Grant E. and Nellie (Gates) Lewis. He married Shirley M. Cleveland on Nov. 10, 1951, at the Little Brown Church in the Vale, Nashua, Iowa. Bob and Shirley lived in Austin, where they raised five daughters. After working in the Austin plant for 34 years, Bob retired to a life of fishing and hunting. They spent several years traveling out west. He and Shirley lived in Park Rapids, for more than 25 years where they lived on Portage Lake. They moved to Rochester nine years ago to be closer to family.
Bob was an avid fisherman and hunter. He loved to sing, play his harmonica and occasionally the banjo or accordion. He loved to tinker on old cars and engines and was known to make his own lawn/snow plow tractors out of junk parts from the dump. He loved to dance and made sure all his daughters knew how to dance as well. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do once he put his mind to it and passed this belief onto his children.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley M. (Cleveland); his daughters, Judy (Bob) Olson of Rochester, Gayle (Gaylord) of Beresford, S.D., Brenda Lewis of Waseca, Minn., Renee (Craig) Larson of Detroit Lakes, Minn., Christine (Timothy) Gaffron of Maple Grove, Minn., Sharon K Lewis of Nisswa, Minn. (Yep, no boys…); his sister, Ethel Tellock of California; six grandchildren, Julie, Tracy, Valerie, Alana (Nealy), Erik and Lauren; six great-grandchildren, Wyatt, Joshua, Lydia, Abigail, Noah and Zander. He is preceded in death by his parents, Grant E. and Nellie (Gates) Lewis; brothers, Lloyd, Everett and Ralph Lewis; sister, Leona Spencer; brother in laws, Donald Tellock, Harold Avelsgard and Stuart Spencer; and a sister in law, Shirley Brownwell.
Bob served in World War II in the Navy on the destroyer U.S.S. Willard Keith. He was a very loving husband and father. He will always be singing in our hearts.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, at 1 p.m. at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes with a visitation one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at 3:45 p.m. at Grandview Cemetery in Austin.