September 22 is National Centenarian Day. To celebrate, we’d like to highlight GetSetUp community member Lewis who turned 100 on September 3! To commemorate his birthday, friends from Good Morning America With Norman celebrated with balloons, party hats, a cake, and virtual banners.
He has led a remarkable life. He served his country, has a stellar education, traveled the world, and has the love of family and friends.
Born in Tennessee, he grew up in Columbia, SC, and eventually attended the University of South Carolina. Then World War II started.
He went into the United States Army Air Forces, where he was trained as a meteorologist, an important job when forecasting weather for military campaigns in Europe. His service took him to Greenville, SC, London with the 82nd Airborne and the Netherlands before the war ended.
Starting a family
Upon returning to the US, he went to Ohio State University, where he got a master's in chemical engineering. He married his wife Mary in 1950, and they had three children, Mary, David, and Don. His career took him to Texaco, Dupont, and McDonnell Douglas. It was during his time with McDonnell Douglas that he was transferred from Charlotte to Santa Monica.
He eventually left private business and moved to Corvallis, OR for 25 years, where he owned a printing business. Lewis says that his favorite time of his life was in Corvallis because it had a small-town feel. He and his wife had many dear friends, belonged to the Rotary Club, and enjoyed musical performances at Oregon State University.
Throughout his life, he and his family have enjoyed travel. He’s been all over the world, from Yugoslavia to Nicaragua, but his favorite destination is London which he’s visited many times.
After a long, productive career, he and his wife retired to Leisure World in southern California. Sadly, his wife passed away in 2019. He still lives independently and enjoys spending time on Zoom with friends, Facetime with his son David and grandsons who live in the Netherlands, and trips to Denny’s with his grandson and granddaughter who live close by in California. One of the things his family appreciates most about him is his sense of humor and ability to make everyone laugh.
When asked what he owes his longevity to, he says he’s not quite sure.
“ I have no idea! I’ve always been conservative regarding eating and entertainment and stayed active in playing golf. But, other than that, I couldn’t say.”
Whatever the reason, we’re glad he’s here as part of the GetSetUp community. Happy 100th birthday Lewis! Thank you for your service and for sharing your story. Wishing you many more happy days ahead.