A Star in the Night Sky

James Albert Lewis, 94, of Merrill passed away on June 5. He was surrounded by loved ones at home near Merrill. Among those loved ones were Joel and Melissa Lewis.

Jim was born on Feb. 28th, 1929. This was the year you recall the stock market crashed. There was the great depression, the St. Valentine’s massacre, and Al Capone. There was World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam. Later countess other wars. He lived in a time when television was first invented. He saw man landing on the moon. Imagine all this man has seen and done!

James graduated from the University of Minnesota with his master’s degree in Speech Therapy. He spent two years in the Army, he worked in San Antonio as a radio expert. He returned home to Minneapolis and pursued a career in Speech Therapy. Later he was contacted by Marathon County schools to be a Speech Therapist for the District. Later he worked in Merrill for their school district and remained there the rest of his career. What you didn’t know about James is his ukulele playing and how he even incorporated it into his speech therapy!

James retired to his and Adair’s beautiful farm where they enjoyed every season. I was invited there while running for assembly. I spent a delightful evening there with James’ family and friends. James loved and cared for nature, with all the birds, but he was also quite an astronomer! He had an astronomy club, Stars R Us. James belonged to the Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers. He was a peaceful man who loved to teach others about his passions. To say he was a unique individual would be an understatement. He taught me a lot in that one evening’s time. As you can guess, the evening ended with singing and the ukulele.

James’ legacy lives on in Joel and Melissa Lewis. Joel often talks about his grandfather being a major driving force in his life. James nurtured Joel’s creativity and encouraged Joel to speak up for what is right. James’ desire for a better world lives on as Joel teaches others. Gone but not forgotten, you have touched me I have grown. James is now a star in the night sky watching down over all of us, shining brightly and leading our way.