Gerald "Jerry"'s Story
Gerald "Jerry" Lewis, 69 year old Woodward resident, died Sunday, July 3, 2016 in El Reno, Oklahoma. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, July 8, 2016 in the Billings Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow in the Elmwood Cemetery. Military rites will be conducted by the United States Army.
Gerald Wayne Lewis was born on August 18, 1946 in Mooreland, Oklahoma to Cecil Edward and Mary Florence (Geddes) Lewis. The family's home was destroyed by the Woodward tornado in 1947, so they moved to the farm north of Woodward. Jerry attended Woodward schools and graduated from Woodward High School in 1964. While in school, he was a member of the FFA and Student Council. Jerry attended Panhandle State College, graduating with his degree in Business Administration in 1969. He received a minor in Economics and was a member of the Phi Beta Lamda and was active in ROTC. Jerry was drafted into the United States Army in 1969. He served with the American Division during the Vietnam War as a Rifleman and received two Bronze Stars, two Army Commendation medals, and campaign medals. Jerry was sent to Okinawa Army Hospital and was honorably discharged because of his injuries in 1971. He continued with reserve duties until 1975. Upon returning to the United States, he settled in Woodward and went to work in the oil fields of Oklahoma.
During his 40 year career, Jerry worked for numerous oil field companies, including The Western Company, BJ Services, Cudd Pressure Control, Pro Petro Services, and Trican of Canada. He had various job titles: Operator, Service Supervisor, District Engineer, Sales and Service, and Region Manager. He retired from working in 2011 and continued living in Woodward, north of town.
He was united in marriage to Gloria Jean Haynes on October 1, 1971 in Woodward, Oklahoma. They were blessed with one daughter, Melissa Ann, who was born in 1973. They loved being together and enjoyed traveling off the beaten path in the Colorado mountains. He enjoyed watching drag racing and NASCAR, woodworking in his shop, working on cars, or just working around his place. He also loved auto painting, fishing, and camping.
Recently five of his personal Vietnam pictures were selected to be featured in the "My War: Wartime Photographs by Vietnam Veterans" exhibit. Out of the thousands of pictures submitted by veterans, only 72 were selected. He was very honored that his photographs were among the chosen.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife, Gloria, sister-in-law, Debbie Haynes Caldwell, and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Ralph and Jean Haynes.
He is survived by his daughter, Melissa Ann Lewis of El Reno; brother, Gene Lewis and wife Vienna; sister, Barbara Lewis, all of Woodward; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Dan and Peggy Haynes of El Reno and Mike and Charise Caldwell of Woodward; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the American Cancer Society, 6525 North Meridian, Suite 110, Oklahoma City, OK 73116 or the El Reno Public School Foundation, P.O. Box 356, El Reno, OK 73036.
Remembrances may be shared online at www.billingsfuneralhomewoodward.com
Published on July 7, 2016