On September 7, 2020 heaven gained another angel and we lost our beloved optimistic, upbeat husband, father, grandfather, sibling and friend, William R. Lewis Sr. or Bill as he was known to those of us who knew and loved him. Raised in Salem, the son of Ralph and Mary Ann (Gagnon) Lewis, he graduated from Salem High School in 1958. Soon after graduation, he joined the U.S. Air Force.
After 4 years of service, he began a lengthy career in the world of retail. Eventually after working for other retail stores, he opened his own store in the Ryal Side section of Beverly where he resided, called The Window Box. He had many customers who quickly became lasting acquaintances. His outgoing pleasant personality and knowledge of movies of all genres often kept some of them chatting with him for hours. A couple of wives often said when their husband didn't come right home with a movie; they knew where they could find him.
Bill also loved cooking as well as good gourmet food. Upon closing his store, he honed some of his cooking skills working briefly for a local catering company, preparing meals for the employees of Parker Brothers. He enjoyed entertaining and cooking delicious meals for his family and friends especially after he retired. As a volunteer first with Cub Scouts as a Webelo leader and then later with his son's local Boy Scout troop, he prepared all the meals for a seven day canoe trip that the older scouts and their fathers were taking to Baxter State Park in Maine. Everyone was impressed by the meals he had brought for the trip and often remarked how well fed they had been for the entire time they were gone.
As soon as Bill could drive, he was on his way to Boston with one of his good friends to see the latest Broadway musical that was in town. As a season ticket holder to NSMT for many years, he looked forward each year to seeing the shows they presented even if he had seen them before because he felt each presentation was slightly different. When Bill found out that it would be several years before Phantom of the Opera would be in Boston, he organized a trip with 2 other couples to fly to Toronto to see it. He truly loved going to the theater whether it be in New York, Boston, Beverly or flying to Toronto.
Upon his retirement he was able to spend more time gardening, traveling, and visiting with his son and his family, especially his beloved grandchildren. Bill was proud of the extensive perennial garden that he and his wife had developed and the vegetables that he alone tended to. Most important to him was the time spent with his son's family especially the many day trips they took together as well as cheering on Caroline, Jillian, and Owen at their soccer games or swim meets. He was very proud of all their achievements and enjoyed telling others about them.
When Bill's health presented a challenge, he chose to look on the bright side of life. He often referred to dialysis as his part time job three mornings a week. He always approached it with a smile and enjoyed the time it gave him to read many of his favorite author's most recent books. When a dear friend encountered the same challenge, Bill was supportive and encouraging even while dealing with his own illness.
Besides his wife Carol of 52 years, he leaves a son, William Jr. and his wife, Julie (Corson) Lewis and his 3 beloved grandchildren, Caroline, Jillian, and Owen. He also leaves two sisters, Margaret and her husband, Raymond Farmer, and Marie and her husband, Eric Olson as well as 2 brothers-in-law, David and his wife, Elizabeth Wright and Gordon Wright. In addition, he leaves many cousins, nieces and nephews.
ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are invited to visiting hours in the Peterson-O’Donnell Funeral Home, 167 Maple St. (Rte. 62) Danvers on Tuesday September 15th from 4 to 6 P.M. Attendees are required to wear face coverings, practice social distancing and are respectfully asked for no physical contact with the family.All other services are private. Expressions of sympathy may be made in William’s memory to National Kidney Foundation, 209 West Central St., Suite 220, Natick, MA 01760. We encourage you to share your memories by visiting his eternal tribute at www.odonnellfuneralservice.com.
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