Celebrating the life of Vivian L. Lewis
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Vivian Lee Lewis, affectionately known as “Dish”, was born April 22, 1941, in Crewe, Virginia to the late James Harris and Mary Francis Paul. She was the only child from this union. She was raised by her grandmother, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings. She cared deeply for each of her family members.
Vivian received her education in both Nottoway County, Virginia, and New York City public school systems. Although she lived in New York for a period of time, she spent most of her time in Crewe, Virginia. There, Vivian met and later married the love of her life, Garland Rufus Lewis, who affectionately called her “Boss Lady”. They were married for 61 years and from their union, three children were born, Gregory (deceased), Gwendolyn, and Terrence.
At an early age, Vivian gave her life to Christ and was baptized. In her later years, she rededicated her life to Christ when she joined Friendship Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. She enjoyed attending church with her friends. She was excited about participating in the Senior’s Ministry and faithfully attending Bible Study.
She was employed as a cashier at Pantry Pride Supermarket in Baltimore, Maryland. She was a dedicated worker until the supermarkets went out of business in the Baltimore area, in 1982. Vivian worked parttime but was a full-time professional homemaker. She kept her house immaculate, and the kids knew better than to sit in the living room. Vivian, known by her kids as Momma, did not play about having a clean house, including maintaining well-waxed and buffed floors, and clean windows.
She loved her family dearly and enjoyed family gatherings. Her favorite pastimes were shopping for good deals, clipping coupons, talking to her girlfriends and neighbors on the telephone, and recording and watching her stories (or at least using them as background noise, while she did her household cleaning). Vivian enjoyed traveling and visiting new sights. She loved her children and helped raise many of her grands and great grands. Whenever one of her kids needed a babysitter, her first response would be, “Well let me check my calendar and I’ll get back to you!” She especially loved visits from her family during the holidays and particularly on her birthday, on which she celebrated on the same day with her youngest son, Terrence, who she lovingly called her “Baby Boy.”
Vivian lived a very active life and was very giving, doing much for many people. It was only until after she was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 70, that she began to slow down. She didn’t go down without a fight. She truly fought a good fight throughout her illness.
Until his death, her husband faithfully cared for her, even when she gave him a run for his money. Throughout her illness, her children stepped in and took over her care. Her only daughter, Gwen, was truly a voice for her mom during her stay in the nursing home, loyally by her side, caring daily for her throughout the long 12-year journey. After her early diagnosis, Vivian continued functioning well, driving until 2014, when her children were forced to take the battery out of the car for her and others’ safety (and that’s when the fight began). That was when Gwen was given the name “The Warden!” It took the family a while to understand and adjust to the impact of the disease. She would only listen to Baby Boy and sometimes gave him a hard time too. Despite the sickness impeding her, Vivian lived a long life and fought a good fight. On her last day on earth, she quietly slept away with her children (and their spouses), most of the grands and a great grand by her bedside.
She was preceded in death by her loving and devoted husband, Garland, and son Gregory. She leaves to cherish her memory, her loving children, Gwendolyn Craig (Grant) and Terrence Lewis (Irma); Stepson, Roderick Mason, Sr. (Kathy); 8 grandchildren: Coshauna, Eshauna, Sierra (Ike), Tiffany, Travon, Nia (Devin), Aleyah, Terren and 9 great-grands: Areana, Camryn, Christoper, Antonio, Jurnee, Cherlyn, Kairo, Julia, Iman; one brother-in-law, Thomas Lewis (Crewe, Virginia), and two sisters-in-law, Alice Berthel Scott (Crewe, Virginia) and Oretha Lewis (Baltimore, Maryland); Special cousin, Theresa Underwood; Special friends, Annie Vaughn and Frances Harman; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and loving friends. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Viewing Friday, November 17, 2023 from 1 to 7PM at W.E. Hawkes & Son Funeral Home, Blackstone.
Graveside Service Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 1:00PM at Lewis Family Cemetery, Crewe.
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