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John V. Lewis

A Celebration of Life for John V. Lewis will be held February 12, 2022 from 1:00 4:00 p.m. at the Historic Post Office on 204 East Main Street in West Plains, Missouri.


Even though none of us believed it would ever happen, he slipped peacefully from this earth surrounded by family and friends at 3:20 p.m., December 22, 2021


John was born in De Soto, Missouri, to Ernest Benjamin Lewis Sr. and Mary Katherine Haverstick Lewis on May 16, 1946. He was the youngest of twelve siblings. Even though he was the youngest, he grew up knowing how to work hard and the value of a dollar. On February 19,1966 he married his best friend and partner for life, Mary Margaret Wideman Lewis of the family home. Through that partnership they started J&M Foundation in 1974 in West Plains, Missouri. He was saved at a young age and was a member of Bethel Baptist Church for over forty years.  He was known for saying, “he didn’t have to have four walls to talk to the Lord, he could do that anytime or anywhere he needed or wanted to”.  He was an avid outdoorsman whether it was hunting, fishing, trapping, raising cattle, cutting hay, sitting in his chair in shop and just waiting for a friend to come around to tell stories with, or sitting up at Triangle Station shooting the breeze and swapping stories.  He was never without a word or two of advice, or at the very least a comment about what was going on either in the world or his little corner of it.  If you made friends with him, you had a friend for life and were also counted as family.  He was very proud of all of his grandchildren, although it was hard to know it under his gruff exterior. He didn’t want them to miss out on life’s challenges, but he cheered them along at whatever they undertook, even though they may not have realized it.


He is survived by one daughter, Laura Kathleen Lewis Stewart and husband Lowell Alan Stewart Sr. who became the son he never had; five grandchildren, Lowell Alan Stewart Jr (Fiancé Allison), Caleb James Stewart, Randall Wayne Stewart (Fiancé Emily), John Dylan Stewart, and Lauren Elizabeth Stewart; and one great-grandchild, Lowell Alan Stewart III; two brothers, Charles Lewis, Raymore, Missouri, and David Lewis, Boise, Idaho; one sister, Patricia Lewis Crain, Festus, Missouri; and one sister-in-law, Mona Faye Lewis, Hillsboro, Missouri.  He also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, and a whole host of friends.


He is preceded in death by his parents, five brothers, Ernest Benjamin Jr., Cecil, Robert, Raymond and Richard Lewis, three sisters, Opal Schillinger, Gladys Hammock and Mary Katherine Flecke, his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Elven and Juanita Wideman, and four brothers-in-law, Ray Schillinger, Robert Hammock, Richard Flecke and John Wideman.


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