June 12, 2017 – West Bend, WI – Reverend H. (Howard) Loren Lewis (99yrs 9mo.) born August 23, 1917 in Bloomingdale IN went to dwell in the house of the Lord on June 9, 2017.
He was preceded in death by his parents Bonnie (Featherston) Lewis and Frederick Isaiah Lewis, Moletia Marrie (Belangee) Lewis (wife of 52 years), Peggy Lewis (wife of 14 years), H. Lloyd Lewis “Old Sarge” (older brother) and Kenneth L. Lewis (younger brother). He will be remembered for his kind and gentle spirit by his sister Betty Copeland and her husband Walter. Children are Michael Lewis (wife Fay) and Molly Erickson (husband Neal), grandchildren Jamie (Erickson) Gundrum, Chad B. Erickson, Jamie (Lewis) VanDerElsen, Lisa (Lewis) Zillmer, Georgie (Lewis) Heimerl, Brian and Michael Lewis and Great grandchildren Daniel and Tyler Erickson, Michael DeLeon, Isaiah and Alex Lewis. Dear friends Jean and Richard McKensey of Rhinelander WI who believe he was a man ahead of the times.
As a child during the Great Depression, he sold newspapers, played marbles, bought gunny sack of day old doughnuts for a nickel, and plowed fields with a horse drawn plow. He went from horse drawn wagons to the automobile. Radio to black and white TV to color. He never caught on to how a computer works but enjoyed family pictures on the screen saver. He loved his flip phone.
Loren enlisted in the Army during WWII in 1943 (along with both of his brothers) and served in the 583RD Signal Depot Company. He was Honorably discharged in 1946 and worked at Delco Remi in Anderson Indiana until the age of 33 when he began seminary at Garrett in Evanston IL on the GI Bill.
He was the faithful servant of 17 United Methodist Churches (UMC) from 1951-1986 (Lewisville, Doublin, Straughn, Spartanburg, and Lynn in Indiana and Union Grove, Paris Corners, Sussex, Rhinelander, Monona Grove, Ripon, Menomonee Falls, Janesville, Green Bay, Denmark, Tomahawk and Spirit.
The Monona Grove UMC sent him to the Holy Land where he preached a sermon on Mount Calpurnicus. One of his sermons is recorded in the United Stated Congressional Record. At one time he was listed in Who’s Who in United States. In the mid-1960s he marched with Father Groppi and later protested the Vietnam War with the college kids in Madison.
He vacationed in Gattlinburg TN and spent retirement years in Panama City Beach FL, Rhinelander WI, Anderson IN, and West Bend WI. Loren enjoyed the cottage on Lake Thompson in Rhinelander WI. He loved to play golf, last teeing up a golf ball at the age of 96. He spent his final years in the study of the Bible, wrote poetry and self-published a book: Confessions of a Prodigal Pastor and was working on his second book: One Tear for Paradise. He believed Life is for Living Loving and Giving the Self to God. Favorite scripture: “I know in whom I have believed” and “Be still and know I am, God”. Famous quotes: during the war – “Hitler chewed on rugs” and “I don’t give a ball bearing.”
He was known to ponder: If you drilled a hole through the earth and came out the other side would you be upside down, much like Congress? He has written volumes of material such as an Ode to a Butterfly, The Measure of a Man, The Shooting Star and Dance Where You are Planted. The Poems he was most proud of:
As I was on my way to David’s town
I met a man who was quite cast down, he said,
“Nothin ever happens round here at all
Cepting a new born baby last night in a cattle stall.
But hey he ain’t goin to wear no royal crown.”
How sweet it is, this one who came
To a stable in David’s Town.
Heavens gift to Earth
This noble birth a halo of hay
His royal crown.
And: Everywhere I go there I am
It’s a jungle out there
But we can handle it
My God and I.
Loren thanked God daily for the good body he was given, his family and friends. He would say to you: “May the good Lord bless you and keep you. May his countenance shine upon you and give you peace.” Amen to a life well lived, loved and given to God.
In lieu of flowers, the family would greatly appreciate a donation made to the United Methodist Committee on Relief in Loren’s memory.
A Funeral Service will be at 5:30PM on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church (323 S Fifth Ave West Bend, WI 53095) with Rev. Clarissa Martinelli presiding. Visitation will be at the church from 4:00PM until the time of the service. Interment will be at 2:00PM on Friday, June 16, 2017 at Northland Memorial Park in Rhinelander, WI.
The family of Rev. H. Loren Lewis would like to thank the team of people who came together to make our fathers last days the best they could be. We cannot say enough about Tina Thull and the excellent staff at Cornerstone Assisted Living in West Bend. What an asset to the community. Tina and her mom, Donna would pray, sing, and sit with Dad to support and calm him. Caregivers Amy, Erin, Kaylee, Amanda and Jennifer were all caring and knowledgeable. They managed mediation administration addressing our concerns and meeting Dad’s needs. Jenni was able to get him involved in some activities. They sang with him, prayed with him, and encouraged him to eat and drink. This group of women coordinated cares with Serenity Hospice. Donette RN and Paula LPN were very attentive and consulted with the family and the Caregivers to anticipate and quickly respond to Dad’s needs. From Serenity Kiara played the guitar and sang church hymns, Rev. Rick the Hospice Chaplin visited and prayed with Dad and supported the family. Eric their Social Worker was very concerned and visited keeping our family informed. Janelle, the home aide coordinated cares with the Cornerstone staff and sat with Dad to comfort him. Rev. Wes and Rev Clarissa from the 5th Avenue United Methodist Church were very attentive and appreciated. They formed a bond with the family. Betty one of the residents would set with Dad to help comfort him. He was safe and comfortable with people who expressed love and concern for his wellbeing. It doesn’t get any better than that. Michael Lewis and Molly Erickson