Ralph Lewis Jr.
R. Spencer Lewis, Jr. 89, passed away quietly of kidney failure among family members at home on the morning of December 30, 2017. He was born in Denver, Colorado, on April 11, 1928, to Ralph Spencer Lewis, Sr. and Ruby (Johnson) Lewis. Following his military service in Japan after the war, he attended Whitworth College (University) in Spokane, Washington, where he met and married Geraldine (Geri) Tweedy, August 21, 1950. Spencer’s career as an elementary science teacher, principal, and administrator spanned nearly 35 years, primarily in Fremont, California. He was active in the National Science Teachers Association, served in various leadership roles at Centerville Presbyterian Church, helped lead Boy Scout Troop 140, was on the board of Young Life, and was President of Presbyterians United for Mission Advance (PUMA). He retired in 1985 and moved to Salem, Oregon, in 1989. Following Geri’s death due to Parkinson’s in 1998, he married Barbara Barnes Collum, April 15, 2000. They were leading members of the Independence Wagon Wheelers Square Dance group where they first met. A beloved teacher with good humor, great compassion, and a generous spirit, he was a gift to all who knew him.
Spencer was preceded in death by his wife, Geri; sisters, Dolores Murdock and Kathryn Reichert; and step-son, Jim Collum. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, of Salem, Oregon; brother, Russell Ernest Lewis of Seattle, Washington; daughter, Bonnie Sue Lewis of Dubuque, Iowa; daughter, Linda Holmes of Oldenburg, Indiana; and son, Wes Lewis of Deming, Washington; and step-children, Cheryl Collum Weimer, Michael Collum, and Barbara (Bambi) Clark, all of Salem, Oregon; as well as five grandchildren, thirteen step-grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and thirteen great-step-grandchildren.
No services will be held, per his request. He will be interred at a later date in a family plot in Dallas, South Dakota.