Doris Ann Barlow Lewis, 92, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on Nov. 2, 2021, at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital in Lake Charles, LA.
Mrs. Lewis lived a life of service to others. She was a member of University United Methodist Church and the Wesley Class since 1960, and she served as an officer in United Methodist Women. In the community, she served as a Pink Lady at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for more than 45 years.
As a wife and mother, she took seriously her role as healthcare guardian of the family and provider of healthy food. She believed in science-based nutrition, and often pointed out, with a chemist’s glee, that “a recipe is a formula for food.”
Born April 11, 1929, in Owensboro, KY, to Edwina Frances Bowlds and Harmon Harold Barlow, she grew up Greenville MS, and graduated with a BS degree in Chemistry from Millsaps College in Jackson MS. While at Millsaps, she successfully challenged and changed the dress code for female science students, meaning that women were allowed to wear jeans and more disposable clothes to lab, rather than the formal dresses required in the classroom. In a math class at Millsaps she met her beloved husband of 68 years, the late Major James Watson Bennett “Ben” Lewis III, US Air Force Reserve.
Before marriage, she joined the Masonite Corporation in Laurel MS, where as a staff chemist, she created a significant innovation making useful products out of process waste.
Throughout their marriage, the Lewises were well-traveled. They lived in no less than 10 towns, as Major Lewis built his Air Force and teaching career. The couple made a point of visiting National Parks and exploring the United States. In later life, their travels expanded to Mexico, Canada, Israel, and Europe, and they continued actively traveling into their mid-80s.
Later in life, she returned to school, earning a certificate in Medical Technology and taking MBA courses in marketing and business at McNeese State University. Her passions included cooking, reading, working on puzzles, and tending outdoor cats.
Once married, Doris focused on family. She is survived by three children, Cynthia Lewis of Kingsport TN, Clifton Lewis (Macrina) of Port Townsend WA, and Laura Gibson (John) of Lake Charles: six grandchildren, Rachel Lewis Dovey (Michael), Emilia Lewis
Anderson (Joseph), Basil Edward Lewis, Angelle Stelly Boettner, Ryan David Stelly, and Cameron Campbell Gibson; five great-grandchildren, Edith Dovey, Jacob Dovey, Kaylee Boettner, Benjamin Boettner, and Claire Boettner; and two nieces and two nephews. In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by her sister, Frances “Fran” Louise Barlow Brenner of Tupelo and Gulfport MS.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to University United Methodist Church, 3501 Patrick Street, Lake Charles, LA 70605.
The family is grateful for loving service from The Gardens Assisted Living and the extraordinary care given by the staff at High Hope Care Center over the last 14 months. Condolences are extended to her attentive and tenacious care team.
Arrangements are being handled by Johnson’s Funeral Home. Visitation will be at 2:00, Sunday, November 7, 2021 University United Methodist Church at 3501 Patrick Street in the Safe Harbor building. Services will follow at 2:30 PM. A private burial will follow at Bear Creek Cemetery near Utica MS.