Obituary for Garry Lee Lewis
Our family lost its patriarch, Garry Lee Lewis, on October 4, 2017. He was born in Boulder CO on March 14, 1940 to Mabel and Leland O. Lewis. He spent most of his younger years in the southern states. His father was a traveling electrician and the family moved often. Each new place left an indelible impression on Dad’s unique personality. As a spirited young man, Garry joined the Navy and was a member of the crew of the USS Norman K. Perry, which retrieved astronaut Alan Shepherd and his spacecraft from the ocean after a historic mission. Our dad loved racing in all its forms, particularly sand racing, and drag racing. He was an accomplished Master Mechanic who worked and resided at Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, CA for many years, repairing everything from gardener carts to the tractors, water trucks and even the starting gate. The last job he held before retirement was working on the magnificent Diamond Valley Dam in Hemet, CA and he was very proud of his involvement on the project. After his retirement, Dad lived in Kalispell, MT, and Ontario, CA, before ultimately settling in Sutherlin. He loved Oregon’s rugged beauty, his comfortable home professional shop, and the many dear friends he made there. If you were a friend of Dad’s, you were a friend for life. He loved building motors and attending swap meets, to find and sell even more mechanical treasures. But what dad loved most of all was people. He was a kind and friendly man, who would help anyone in need. He had an affinity for all animals but had a soft spot for ‘dawgs’. He rescued many of them in his 77 years, and gave them wonderful lives. He will be forever missed by his family and friends. We will never forget his story-telling, favorite country music, hearty laugh and delightful sense of humor, which he never lost, no matter what he was going through. He is survived by his loving wife Mary, a sister, Sandy Norman, three children, six grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and one neurotic canine. Friends are invited to join the family in a Celebration of Life, being held on Friday, October 27, 2017 from 3 to 5PM at Sutherlin’s Chapel of the Roses, 311 E. Central Avenue, Sutherlin, OR. In lieu of flowers, what our dad would find most meaningful is a donation to your local humane society, or better yet, consider adopting a dog or cat that needs a loving home.