Gerald “Jerry” Eugene Lewis

September 17, 1942 - May 24, 2019

Gerald “Jerry” Eugene Lewis, age 76, of Romney died suddenly and unexpectedly as the result of a fall while walking their dog along a path at the South Branch River on Friday, May 24, 2019.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Brady and Elizabeth (Ansel) Lewis and a daughter, Nicole “Niki” Renee Lewis.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Rebecca (Whaley) Lewis; daughter Angela (Lewis) Hott and husband Garrett of Romney; (2) grandchildren, Hannah Nicole Householder and Garrett D. Hott, IV; his mother-in-law, Jean Whaley of Romney and several nieces and nephews.

Jerry was born on September 17, 1942 in Cumberland, MD and was the only child of Brady and Elizabeth Lewis.  He grew up in Fort Ashby and graduated from Fort Ashby High School where he also served as Class President.  After High School Jerry attended West Virginia University graduating in 1963 with a Bachelor’s degree(s) in Forestry and Biology.  He went on to earn his Master’s degree in Ichthyology.

During the latter part of the 1960’s he took a job in Utah working as a Forester.  In 1969 he returned to West Virginia and began his career as a Fisheries Biologist for the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.  Jerry accomplishments were many, and one that most are familiar with, and have no idea he was responsible for, are the many public access points to the South Branch River.  Countless hours were spent communicating and negotiating with land owners to make the South Branch available to everyone (thank you Jerry).

To say Jerry was an outdoorsman would be a dramatic understatement.  His life revolved around nature.  He traveled to different states, one being Alaska, for hunting and trapping purposes.  Jerry’s true passion was trapping and it all started as a young boy along Patterson Creek and evolved into a lifelong pursuit.

Jerry was an active member of the Romney First United Methodist Church where he served as a Sunday School Teacher, a leader in the AWANA Youth Program, and was a member of the First United Methodist Men from which a missionary trip to Africa evolved.   Jerry was also heavily involved in the Samaritan’s Purse program which delivers shoe boxed sized Christmas gifts to needy children.

Not one to be inactive, Jerry started planting Christmas trees after his retirement.  This evolved into the Lewis Christmas Tree Farm in Fort Ashby.  Families from the Tri-State area would come, and if they wished, pick out their own tree to be cut and taken home for Christmas.

Jerry and his soft-spoken manner, his many kindnesses directed to others, and his willingness to always be a part of whatever needed doing will be deeply missed by many.

Friends will be received on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 from 5 to 7 PM at Shaffer Funeral Home in Romney.  Memorial Services will be held on Wednesday, May 29, at 11 AM at the Romney First United Methodist Church.  Jerry’s ashes are to be scattered off the coast of Florida at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: Samaritan’s Purse ~ PO Box 3000 ~ Boone, NC 28607  -OR-  Romney First United Methodist Men’s Scholarship Fund ~ 49 N. High St. ~ Romney, WV  26757

Carter Wagoner May 29, 2019

23 condolences for “Gerald “Jerry” Eugene Lewis”

  1. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. As part of the DNR family I’ve had the opportunity to work with Jerry, he was such a hard worker. There are many memories that will stay with everyone.

  2. I started working with Jerry in 1970 and have many great memories of shared experiences on WV rivers and streams. He was Mr. South Branch to us fishery biologists because of all the access sites he developed and his efforts in starting the two Fish for Fun bass fishing areas on the river. Jerry was a true outdoorsman.

  3. As Gerald’s former pastor and co-worker in AWANA I was privileged to watch Gerald’s interaction with a variety of people, young and older. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word and always strived to see the best in others and where he could assist them as needed. He listened. He counseled, He gave. His love and respect for nature testified to his love of God and God’s good creation…all of it! I will miss Gerald in church and especially during the annual Good Samaritan shoebox drive! Thank you, Gerald! +

  4. Becky and Family,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    I always remember Gerald being so kind to me when I was employed at the Dept. of Natural Resources. May God give you strength and comfort to get through this, And God Will

  5. Oh my what a shock. Gerald was our Charter Organization Representative for over 25 years in Scouting. We couldn’t have had anyone kinder, unassuming and always there for our troop . He started us in the Samaritans Purse and to hear him talk about it he immediately had us wanting to help. He had a Christian Peace about him that was evident to all who came in contact with him. We will surely miss him calm ways. He had just retired from Scouting this year and I was very sad but understood him wanting to scale back. This has been a shock. Mrs Lewis and family, please know that if you need me I will be there for you just like Gerald was there for us. We are so very sorry for your loss. May God wrap his arms around you as i know he is holding Gerald close to Him.

  6. Jerry was a very dear friend of Dougs growing up together in Fort Ashby. He has so many wonderful memories and he will be greatly missed. Our prayers will be with Becky and family and his many friends. Jerry took us out once when they were shocking fish for studies on the South Branch. We will continue to cherish the memories and one day we will be united in the house of the Lord!! Until then keep fishing my friend!

  7. I am so sorry for your lose. He was a wonderful man and a great friend! I will never forget his laugh!! Happy hunting my friend!!

  8. I have known Jerry since he started his career as Fisheries Biologist with the Dept. of Natural Resources at the District II office in Romney along with others in care of our natural resources. We were more than co-workers, we were family. When I think of Jerry, I think of a man who is a true “Mountaineer”. I was with the Forestry Division. Our work overlapped esp. on watershed and water quality projects. But the real stories start with the adventures Jerry and I shared involving nature. We spent many hours floating and fishing the Cacapon and South Branch rivers. I would go with him on his trap lines and he taught me a lot about being a part of nature. We shared many other adventures and story telling, most centering around being a part of West Virginia’s natural resources. There are so many great memories and many still make me laugh.

  9. Becky & Family, Many prayers are with you at this time, your in my thoughts

  10. Thoughts and prayers to the Lewis family. Jerry lived a life that many of us only dream of. It was pleasure to know him. He will be missed here on earth but now he is in your future awaiting the time that you will be reunited in Glory.

  11. Becky and family have my heartfelt sympathy for their loss. I only knew Jerry for a very short time but he impressed me with his kind and generous ways.

    He would not want you to grieve too long. Jerry is all around you and that will give you comfort in the days to come.

  12. Jerry and I worked nights & days in the early seventies on Bluestone Reservoir and Plum Orchard Lake conducting fish surveys. Jerry was my co-worker and my “friend”! My last days spending work time with Jerry was a fisheries conference we attended at Saratoga Springs, NY. RIP old friend and happy to hear you were along the “South Branch of the Potomac River when you passed. We fished it together and know it was was a river you loved and developed numerous public access sites for future generations to enjoy! for your family…..

  13. Sorry to hear about the passing of this wonderful man of God. His “homecoming” will be with much celebration in heaven. Enjoyed brief moments with Jerry as he shared his heart of care for others. May peace be with you all as a family.

  14. I helped Jerry with his Awana class for a time. He was a very dedicated Christian and just a very nice person. Many kids, including my daughter, will remember his good influence in their lives.

  15. So sorry for your loss Becky and family. He will be missed greatly by many. Please know we will keep you all in our prayers.
    Bobbi and Richard Glass

  16. My deepest sympathy to Becky and the entire Lewis family . What a loss and shock hear about Mr. Lewis passing . Jerry was a pillar of our church , Romney First United Methodist Church and our community. He was a gentleman, and role model for all of our congregation. He was a kind ,generous and thoughtful soul to our church family . Rest in peace Mr Lewis. I am sure our Lord and Savior Jesus is saying , “well done thy good and faithful servant . “

  17. My heartfelt sympathy and prayers for Becky and Angie and the entire Lewis family.
    Jerry is with his precious Niki and his parents now.
    May your wonderful memories give you peace .

  18. Becky & family,
    May God wrap his arms around you and give you peace and comfort. Hugs to all.

  19. Friends together in WV since 1969..Jerry in Fish and Gary in Game..More than co-workers, they were friends, hunters, trappers, fishermen, and solid Christian men. More than 35 years working together for the State of WV, and when the call came about Jerry, a huge sadness filled our hearts. So many wonderful memories flashed before us of good times, and, yes, sad times. But one thing is true, Jerry will always be loved in our home and in our hearts. He was Kaye’s Christmas Tree man. No other tree would do, but one Jerry grew. May you rest in peace and comfort knowing Jerry is fishing in Heaven with his little fishing sidekick he has missed for so long.

  20. Becky and Angie,
    I am so sorry to see this.. your family is in my thoughts and prayers!

  21. Jerry was such a kind and generous soul. He had a heart for Christ and was always willing to lend a hand. I had the privilege of knowing him for about 9 years. He was on the mission team with me and others and we enjoyed traveling sometimes together to hear mission speakers and transporting materials to mission sites. Several years ago he went on a mission trip with me to help with flood recovery in Southern WVa. It was a good trip. I know he loved his wife, children and grandchildren and so many others. He will be missed by many. I will always carry good thoughts of him in my heart. Prayers of thoughts and comfort for the family.

  22. What a sad, sad shock. It’s unbelievable that such a kind, intelligent, vibrant person has been taken from us. We are deeply sorry for your loss and hearts and prayers are with Becky and the family. If there is a bright spot, at least we know who Jerry is holding hands with now. Don & Paula

  23. Beckey and family, please accept our deepest Sympathy. If there is anything that I / we can do please do not hesitate to give me a call. I will greatly miss my friend.

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