John M. Lewis Jr.
Entered Into Eternal Rest
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
John Marion Lewis, Jr., age 84, passed away on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 in San Antonio surrounded by his cherished family. Born October 19, 1927 in San Antonio to John M. and Mary Tom Hale, Mr. Lewis was a loving husband, father and grandfather who showed an undying devotion to family, God and country. He enjoyed a blessed life in humble service of the Lord, living in the faith that he would one day join his savior in Heaven.
Lewis rose to the rank of Major in his long career with the U.S. Air Force. He began his military career in the U.S. Navy, serving from Oct. 26, 1945 to Oct. 6, 1947. He joined in the Air Force Reserves in 1953 and in 1961 was called to active duty in the Air Force during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He served as Officer-In-Charge of the Combat Control Team of the 60th Aerial Port Squadron. During a tour of duty in France from 1964 to 1966, he parachuted throughout Western Europe. Back in the states, he received the Air Force Commendation Medal for leading a dangerous mission that involved parachuting in snow-blinding conditions to air-drop supplies and gifts to children stranded in a school on the Arizona Navajo Reservation during the Christmas of 1967.
Subsequently, Lewis was public information officer at Travis Air Force Base in California and later at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio. During his eight-year assignment at Travis, he coordinated the media coverage of the U.S. homecoming of POWs from Vietnam in 1973. He also spent part of 1974 and 1975 in Thailand supervising the American Forces Thailand network of radio and television stations. After his retirement from the military May 31, 1979, Lewis was the manager of the San Antonio Visitors Information Bureau for 10 years until 1990.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s University in 1952. Lewis was also an accomplished public speaker, broadcaster and writer. He was dedicated to the Catholic Church and served as a lay minister.
Lewis is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Mary G. Lewis; daughters Christina Lewis, Diana Lewis and Rachel Larsen; son John Marion Lewis III; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.