Thomas Eugene Lewis, known to his friends as Gene, died on October 5, 2023, in Amarillo, Texas, after a brief illness. He was 97 years old. He was active and independent all the days of his life.
Gene was born on October 10, 1925, in Rhome, Texas, to his parents Tom and Lena Lewis. He attended Ropes High School, graduating in 1942.
In 1944, Gene joined the United States Navy and served as a Yeoman, Second Class, stationed in San Francisco from 1944 to 1946. Serving as a supply clerk, Gene often joked that, despite serving in the Navy, he never set foot on a ship. His dedication and service to his country were commendable.
After his military service, Gene returned to Texas, working for a short time as a clerk in a Petersburg bank until he was robbed at gunpoint and locked in the vault. That experience led him back to the farm in Ropesville. At that time, he met and married Earline Mills Lewis. Believing they were somehow “too old” for a formal wedding, the couple eloped to Hobbs, New Mexico on December 22, 1949. Together, they were devoted to each other and to their family. After years of farming, Gene went to work for the Hockley County Appraisal District. His strong work ethic and commitment to his community were evident throughout his life.
Gene was a member of the First Baptist Church in Ropesville, Texas, where he served as a Deacon and Sunday School Teacher for many years. He moved his membership to First Baptist Church in Levelland. His faith was an important part of his life, and he found a place of service within his church community.
Gene enjoyed reading, working his crossword puzzles and visiting with family and friends. In his 80s and early 90s, he delivered meals through the Meals on Wheels program, often to people far younger than he was. His compassion and willingness to help others gained him many friends.
A funeral service to celebrate Gene’s life will be held at 11:15 a.m. on Monday, October 16, 2023, at Lakeridge Funeral Home in Lubbock, Texas. Gene will be laid to rest in his hometown of Ropesville, Texas with a private, family graveside service.
Gene is survived by his sons, Kyle Lewis and his wife Nancy, Kirk Lewis and his wife Robin, and his daughter Kelli and her dear friend Stephen Bertles. He will be fondly remembered by his grandchildren, Amanda Stevens (Jason), Adam Lewis (Jordan), Andrew Lewis (Melissa), Natalie Uhl (Bob), Kelley Beaman, Erin Montgomery; and his many great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Net Biggs, brother Leslie Lewis (Karen) and his sister Roseva Ford (Don), sister-in-law Bunny Allison, and brother-in-law Gary Mills (Kathy), along with numerous nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 49 years, Earlene Mills Lewis, his parents, Tom and Lena Lewis, his sister Ramona Davis (Joe), his brother Ovid Lewis, brother-in-law Dean Allison, and step-grandson Zachary Beaman.
In lieu of flowers and in honor of Gene’s memory, the family kindly requests donations to be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or Meals on Wheels in Levelland, Texas.