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Garland Rufus Lewis
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Obituary for Garland Rufus Lewis

Garland Rufus Lewis, affectionately known as “Rufus”, was born on February 21, 1936 in Crewe, VA to the late Alex and Leola Knight-Lewis. Of the ten children from this union, he was the seventh gift God blessed this deserving couple with. He was the “gift that kept on giving” throughout his life, as he deeply cared for his family and showed it daily.

Rufus received his education in the Nottoway County Public School System in Nottoway, VA and was a proud graduate of the Luther H. Foster High, Class of 1956.

Shortly after graduating he entered the United States Army. Before his tour of duty in Korea, serving as a Military Police (MP) officer, he proposed to Vivian Lee Jennings of Crewe, VA and was married on June 2, 1957. From their union, three children were born; Gregory, Gwendolyn and Terrence. Rufus also had two additional loving sons, Melvin Spencer Allen and Roderick Garland Mason. Married for 61 years, Vivian (known as “Boss Lady”, by Rufus) was the love of his life and he lived every day making sure she was always taken care of.

Rufus was dedicated and hard working. Whatever he did, he did wholeheartedly, without question or hesitation. He was employed at Bethlehem Steel Corporation in Sparrows Point, MD and retired with over 30 years of service. He was a devoted worker and never and missed a day on the job. He also served as an active member of E.W.S. Peck # 82 Lodge, where he functioned as Worshipful Master from 1983-1985.

After retirement, he enjoyed nice, long, “40 milers per hour” drives to the country (Crewe, VA) where he loved spending time with family, friends and his garden. He took great pride in attending the annual Lewis Family Reunions, which he never missed. Rufus was always very hospitable and made sure the drinks were flowing and that everyone was happy; including the grandchildren, who never went home broke.

His favorite pastimes were hunting, listening to music, and playing the lottery. He looked forward to hunting season so that he could be with family and friends and go to hunting parties. Cooking his game (or as his kids would tease and call it “road kill”) was another highlight for him. Those who truly knew him will affectionately remember the simple enjoyment he got from playing music in the house and in the garage, from reading, as he was an avid reader of his daily newspaper and Reader’s Digest, and from his daily “investment” in the Maryland and Virginia sate lotteries.

As an avid sports fan, since his high school days as an all-around athlete, Rufus really got a kick out of watching his sons excel in sports and he maintained that love through support for local teams. He really liked the Orioles an would always say, “Stick with the Birds”.

Rufus was a wise and caring man, known for sharing his wisdom with his children and family members alike. His favorite sayings such as…”The man upstairs will take care of you”, “Don’t let it get you down”, “I’m too old for excitement”, “Start on time, be on time”, and “Where you going gonna be there when you get there”, will be remembered by many. Along with his quotes, he will also be remembered for one of his most stand-out qualities, which was that he would never complain about anything or anyone.

He often shared memories from his military days and was proud to be an MP. However, he was not only a good military soldier, but he was a good soldier throughout his final days of life, fighting a strong and courageous fight until the Lord whispered to him, “Rufus, you have fought a good fight, you have finished your course and have kept the faith…(2 Timothy 4:7).

He was preceded in death by two sons, Gregory Lewis and Melvin Spencer Allen and siblings, Grant Randolph (twin brother), Janice Marie, Mary Lee, Alvin Alexander and Harry McKinley.

He leaves to cherish his memory, his loving and devoted wife, Vivian Lewis; his children, Roderick Mason, Sr. (Kathy), Gwendolyn Craig (Grant) and Terrence Lewis (Irma); 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren; one sister Alice Berthel Scott (Herman) and three brothers, Everett Reed Lewis (Oretha), Vernell David Lewis and Thomas Russell Lewis; special cousins Richard Lewis and Griffen Lewis; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, loving friends and neighbors.

Viewing at W.E. Hawkes & Son Funeral Home, Blackstone on Wednesday, August 8 until 6pm.

Graveside Service with Military Honors will be Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at the Lewis Family Cemetery, Crewe.

W.E. Hawkes & Son Funeral Home of Blackstone in charge of arrangements.


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