Dr. Frank S. Lewis, Jr. entered into Heaven at his home in Montgomery, Alabama, surrounded by his loving family, on April 25, 2017. 'Sonny', as he was known to his family and close friends, was a native of Montgomery, Alabama, and was born on February 16, 1929. He was the eldest son and one of six children of Frank S. Lewis, Sr. and Frances Elon Culver. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Frances Anita Frassrand, Barbara Ann Davidson, and a brother, George Donald Lewis.
Following graduation from Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery in 1947, he joined the military. During this time, he met and then married the 'love-of-his-life', Ruby Nell Peel, in 1955. He attended various colleges wherever he was stationed during his Air Force career, from 1947 through 1969, the year he retired as a major from the USAF. He received a Bachelor of Education from the University of Omaha, Nebraska, and a Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Pathology from the University of South Florida, Tampa. Frank earned a Doctorate of Education, with Majors in Educational Administration and Supervision, from Florida State University in 1979. He thoroughly enjoyed working with special needs children during his teaching career at Silver Sands School in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, from 1971 to 1992, including the Florida Special Olympics
Dr. Lewis was very devoted to his family and had a strong faith in God. Frank's love of music began early in his life, singing in a boys' choir in Montgomery, continuing with life-long participation in church choirs with his wife, Ruby Nell. A family favorite tradition was hearing him sing, 'Stille Nacht' (Silent Night) in German, a cappella, during the Christmas season church services. His military career involved several moves, taking his beloved family to new frontiers throughout the United States. His love of scholarship was a significant influence on his children, always encouraging them to excel. Following retirement, he and Ruby Nell traveled extensively in Europe and eagerly shared their journeys with friends and family. Frank enjoyed genealogical research, completing his autobiography this year.
Dr. Lewis is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ruby Nell Peel Lewis, and children: Leslie Elaine Sintes (Pete), Fort Walton Beach, FL; Lee Anne Blackwell (Jeff), Pelham, AL; Laurie Jane Pate (Ben), Bonaire, GA; David William Lewis (Marian), Knoxville, TN; grandchildren: Ryan Alexander Pate, Atlanta, GA; Allen James Pate, Bonaire, GA; Jonathan Parker Sintes, Fort Walton Beach, FL; Aurora Lauren Butler (Spencer), Gretna, LA; Erin Elizabeth Lewis and Eliot James Lewis, Knoxville, TN; and great-grand daughter, Delaynie Belle Watson, Gretna, LA. Frank is also survived by sisters, Joan Inez Tomanelli and Claire Leslie Moon, and numerous nephews and nieces.
Visitation with the family will be held Saturday, April 29, 2017, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., followed by a service of celebration of Frank's life at 10:30 a.m., at Leak Memory Chapel, 945 Lincoln Road, Montgomery, AL, with interment in Greenwood Cemetery immediately following. The funeral service will be conducted by the Reverend Mark Osgood, Pastor of Perry Hill United Methodist Church.
Pallbearers will be Frank's and Ruby Nell's son, sons-in-law, and grandsons.
Following graveside services, family and friends will be received at Perry Hill United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to:
Perry Hill United Methodist Church
910 Perry Hill Road
Montgomery AL 36109
Published in the Montgomery Advertiser from Apr. 27 to Apr. 28, 2017.