Tom I. Lewis, 91, of Danville, passed Monday, April 1, 2013, at Carle Hospital in Urbana.
Services will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, April 5, at Pape Memorial Home, 10 E. Williams St., Danville, with Dr. Michael Campion officiating. Visitation will be 10-11 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in Spring Hill Cemetery.
Tom was a lifelong Danville resident, the second son of Helen M. and Dan Lewis Sr.
He attended Garfield Grade School, was a 1939 graduate of Danville High School, a 1943 graduate of University of Illinois, where he majored in agricultural economics. He lettered in swimming, held records in his events until the late 1960s.
He married the former Jean Randolph, his childhood sweetheart, in 1944 and was married to her for 51 years before she passed in 1995. Tom married Bernie Bach in 1998 until her passing in 2007. Bernie was the companion and best friend of his later years; they had great fun together.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother and both wives.
Tom was a World War II veteran, a second lieutenant who served in the Philippines and was with the occupied forces in Japan.
Tom was a professional salesman, working first for Sugar Creek Creameries subsidiary of National Dairy, now Nabisco, then for Esco Corporation, where he worked for 28 years until his retirement in 1983.
Tom’s commitment to love and provide for his family was a driving force in his life. Some of his many passions/hobbies included: gardening roses and red raspberries, watching the stock market, playing Scrabble, golf and finding clever ways to use words. He delighted in beautiful things.
He was an avid sports fan, faithfully following his Illini, Bears and Cubs all his life. He loved and supported USA Olympics as well. Tom was a highly competitive bridge player until January 2013. Tom was a member of St. James United Methodist Church, Danville, where he served as late-elementary Sunday school superintendent/teacher for many years.
He was a supporter of Red Mask Players, created and directed by his mother-in-law, Kathryn Randolph, and an enthusiastic fan of Red Mask Children’s Theater founded in 1962 by his first wife, Jean.
Tom also took Jean’s place on the Board of Directors for the Center for Children’s Services, when her health failed. After retiring, Tom helped prepare taxes for seniors through his church and county senior services.
Tom and Jean had two daughters; both survive: Joan Lewis Reynolds resides in Virginia and Molly Lewis Jones in Champaign.
Tom had five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, all surviving. He was “Poppo” to all his grands and great-grands, who found him hilarious, very competitive and smart. His granddaughter, Sarah Jones, was his faithful guardian in his last months.
The family requests memorial contributions go to either the Center for Children’s Services, Danville, or Amber Glen-Alzheimer’s Special Care Center, Urbana, where Tom resided his last two months. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
Guest register: www.papemortuary.com.