Willie Thomas Lewis, Jr. (W.T.), age 85, a lifelong resident of Eagle Springs, NC, passed away on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst. W.T. was born on February 8, 1927 to the late Margaret Catherine Monroe Lewis and Willie (Will) T. Lewis, Sr.
W.T. graduated from West End High School and served in the United States Army during World War II. After completing his basic training in Fort Blanding, Florida, W.T. earned the rank of Tech 5 Sergeant in the 55th Anti-Aircraft Replacement Training Center Battalion Headquarters in Fort Bliss, Texas. He was honored as a World War II Veteran on the final Triangle Flight of Honor in April 2012. After his military service, W.T. built, owned and operated the Eagle Springs Shell/Texaco service station and country store for over 35 years.
W.T. was very active in his church and community. A lifelong member of Bensalem Presbyterian Church, he served as Deacon and Elder. He was also a fireman with the Eagle Springs Volunteer Fire Department and a member of the Southern Pines Elks Club.
Known for his sense of humor, W.T. always had a funny story to tell. An intensely hard worker, he never slowed down even after his retirement and was most happy finding something to do outdoors. He loved fishing and caught an untold number of bream from his pond using a simple fly rod and live crickets.
A devoted husband, father and grandfather, W.T. valued God and family as priorities in his life. He is survived by his dear wife, Delores Kirkman Lewis, with whom he celebrated a 52nd wedding anniversary on January 28. Other survivors include their three children: Julie Lewis Stephen (Pete) of Kernersville, NC; John C. Lewis (Marion) of Evans, GA; and Jill Lewis Strickland (Jon) of Raleigh, NC; six grandchildren, Eryn and Logan Stephen; Chris and Nick Lewis; and Maggie and Lindsay Strickland and his sister, Mary Lena Lewis Cole of Fountain.
W.T. was preceded in death by his brothers, Earl T. Lewis and W. Ralph Lewis, and sister, Vivian Lewis Williams.
A memorial service celebrating W.T.'s life will be held Saturday, February 2 at 11 a.m. at Bensalem Presbyterian Church (2891 Bensalem Church Road, Eagle Springs). The family will receive friends at a visitation from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the residence on Friday, February 1 and at other times at the family home (5624 Big Oak Church Road, Eagle Springs). In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Bensalem Presbyterian Church at PO Box 157, Eagle Springs, NC 27242
Briggs-Candor Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences may be made at www.briggsfuneralhome.com/