David Lee Lewis

David Lee Lewis, 83, of Banning, passed away at home on July 13.

David was born Nov.14, 1936 in Allentown, Penn. to Helen (Balsai) Lewis and Walter H. Lewis.

After graduating from high school David joined the Navy and was a naval communications specialist on the USS Bennington aircraft carrier from 1954 to 1957, the time between the Korea and Vietnam wars.

During his service in the Navy he stopped on the California coast; and David came to love the warmer weather.

After the Navy, he returned to Pennsylvania and attended college on his G.I. Bill.

As the first in his family to graduate college, David appreciated this additional opportunity his service in the Navy afforded him.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Moravian College in 1962 in his hometown of Bethlehem.

He married his wife of 58 years, Mary Ellen (O’Donnell) Lewis in that same year and soon after moved to Los Angeles, where they settled and started a large Catholic family.

David has been a resident of Banning for 11 years.

He worked as a claims adjuster with a variety of insurance firms, specializing in large-scale claims, before retiring from Zurich Insurance Company in 2003.

David was a member of St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church in Beaumont, where he enjoyed volunteering with donation counts, as well as delivering Meals on Wheels to seniors.

He was also an active member of the 80+ Club at Sun Lakes Country Club where he lived.

David is survived by his beloved wife Mary; son Walter Lewis; daughters Helen Lewis and Kathy Shane; sons Brian Lewis and Andy Lewis; as well as his dear and "favorite" sister Stephanie Dietrich.

David was preceded in death by father Walter H. Lewis and mother Helen (Balsai) Lewis; brothers Gregory Lewis and “Dinnie” (short for Dynamite) Walter Lewis.

David, or “Pop Pop,” also leaves 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild to cherish his memory.

A graveside service and military honors for David was held July 23 at Riverside National Cemetery.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.weaver-mortuary.com for the Lewis family.

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