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Harvey L. Lewis, Jr. - His Life
By Richmond Barbour
From The Dedication of Harvey Lewis, Jr. Junior High School
May 11, 1960


Harvey Lewis, Jr. was born March 16, 1916, in Saginaw, Michigan. Hemoved to San Diego when he was a little boy, four years old. He wentthrough our San Diego schools, attending the Hamilton, Central andEdison Elementary Schools. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson Junior HighSchool. While there he met Marion, the girl who became his wife. Shewas student body president, and he was a student leader. They both wentto Hoover High School, and graduated.

Harvey had a secret that removed him from the realm of us ordinarypeople. I think you should know of it. His secret was shared only bythose who were intimate with him. He had an incurable physicalcondition. He lived under a death sentence. He knew that no one havinghis condition had ever lived to the age of 40. He had only a few scantyears to provide security for his wife and his children. Only a shorttime to serve his God and his fellow men. With characteristic humor andzeal he turned from school to life, and to his years of greataccomplishment. For years he lived with pain and weakness, without amurmur of complaint. Many who thought they knew him well had no inklingwhatever of the battle he fought to stay alive. Harvey Lewisaccomplished more in his 39 years than most of our leaders accomplishin their three score years and ten.

He started the Lewis Mortuary, at a time when other mortuaries weregoing bankrupt. He was not deterred by our worldwide depression. Hegathered a staff of devoted, capable people around him. He saw to itthat his mortuary succeeded. Then he acquired a larger site, and builtupon it one of the loveliest buildings in our city. He was active inhis professional circles. He was a leader there, as always. Before longhe was appointed by Governor Warren to the State Board of FuneralDirectors. He served on the board until his death, and was twice itspresident. His standing among his colleagues and his competitors wassecond to none in California.

He loved music, and became an outstanding organist. He could havehad a successful career as a professional musician. He assisted withmusic at several churches, and was music director at Our Savior