ROGERS CITY, Mich. - Frederick William Lewis, 89, died early Sunday morning, Oct. 6, 2013, at home after a long battle with prostate cancer.
A loving husband to Joyce; role model father to Kelly, David (Kristi) and Dan (Candace); mischievous and fun-loving grandfather to Jordyn, Zack, Danielle and Trevor; and a friend to many, he will be sorely missed.
He was born Aug. 30, 1924, in Youngstown to Myrtle Briggs and Frederick Lewis, and is survived by his brothers, Don, Merle and Raymond; sister, Charlotte (Leonard); numerous nieces and nephews; and preceded in death by his brother, Robert.
Fred was a proud but very humble World War II veteran, serving in the Argus Division of the U.S. Navy.
He was employed by Republic Steel and lived in Liberia, West Africa, until moving to Rogers City, Mich., in 1975, where he was employed at Stoneport until he retired.
Fred was a dedicated community servant, a two-term mayor, city councilman, Lions Club officer, treasurer of the Presque Isle food pantry, and was instrumental in getting the Little League baseball fields built.
''He loved Rogers City, this community and the people who lived here, despite loving to complain about the long, cold winters!!''
When his cancer spread, and he knew the end was near, he approached it with grace, dignity and even a little humor. He was joyful about having had a full, rich life rather than being sad about having to die. He was a voracious reader, passionate about fishing / hunting, fixing Sunday morning breakfasts and Ohio State football.
''He kept the local library in business until we bought him a Kindle. He was suspicious, resistant and stubborn to this modern technology at first, but eventually it never left his side.''
He loved to tell and hear a good story (preferably over a single malt scotch), and was quite the prankster. He spent hours on the phone with his brother Ray watching and discussing play-by-play action of his beloved Buckeyes. When Ohio State scored, he would prank call his Michigan friends, play the Ohio State fight song and hang up. (Sorry, Dad, your secret is out.)
When he was asked to modify his diet and restrict his salt intake, he was heard to say "life is not worth living if I can't have butter on my tomato sandwiches (white bread, of course) and my eggs fried in bacon grease."
We will miss the twinkle in his eye, his penchant for a good story, his quiet strength and his heart the size of Texas. He was, indeed, a good, good man. As he always liked to say, ''my favorite thing to do is to go where I've never gone, with no fixed plan nor intent of arriving let's take a different route home." Godspeed, Dad.
A memorial service will be held 11:30 a.m. Oct. 19 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Rogers City, Mich. A luncheon to honor and celebrate his life will be held immediately afterwards at the Rogers City Senior Center, a place that he firmly believed in, was instrumental in establishing and very fond of gathering with his buddies for a little euchre and story telling.
Rogers City VFW Post 607 will accord military honors immediately following church services.
Inurnment will take place in Fort Custer National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Hospice of the Sunrise Shore, 2078 W. M-32, Alpena, MI 49707; Presque Isle County Food Pantry, c/o Westminster Church, 125 W. Ontario, Rogers City, MI 49779; or Friends Together Cancer Support, 105 Prentiss St., Alpena, MI 49707.
Arrangements are in care of the Beck Funeral Home. Online condolences may be addressed through www.beckfuneral-home.org