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Obituary of Dr. James J. Lewis

Dr. James J. Lewis, son of James H. Lewis and LoRee (Elliott) Lewis was born on December 5, 1931 at Corsicana, Texas and passed away on April 3, 2012 at Missoula, Montana at the age of 80 years, 3 months and 28 days.
His parents, he and his sister moved to Belleville, Kansas in 1933 and lived with his grandmother until 1940. He attended schools there in Belleville from 1936 until 1949. He graduated from Belleville High School in 1949 where he lettered in football and basketball and received the Lions Club Bronze Tablet Award for outstanding scholarship and excellence in activities.
He graduated from Kansas State University in 1953 and was selected as a Distinguished Air Force ROTC graduate. He received Phi Kappa Phi recognition in 1950 and was a charter member of the Sigma Chi social fraternity in 1949.
He married Dolores Bouska in 1952 and they had four sons, Kirk, Keith, Kelly and Bryan. Bryan went on to earn a B.A. and M.P.A. from the University of Montana. Kirk earned a M.B.A from the University of St. Thomas, while Keith graduated from UC Santa Barbara.
After completing the Master’s degree in 1954, he became Director of Theatre and Dance at Hays, Kansas High School, and ballroom dancing became his favorite form of entertainment. The next year he was called into active duty in the Air Force, first at the USAF Cambridge Center near Boston and then at the Air Force Academy, where he was an administrator. He helped develop the cadet selection system and there in 1959 when the Academy first class graduated. Later he completed the doctoral program at the University of Kansas, earning the Doctor of Education (EDD) and was appointed as an Air Force Academy Officer in the USAF Reserve as a Captain. In 1963 he became Assistant Director of Admissions and Assistant Professor at Pittsburg State and Director of Admissions at Kansas State for 11 years. In 1975 he was hired at the University of Montana in the Educational Leadership Department, serving five years as Department Chair in the 1980’s and retiring in 1994 as a full Professor.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James H. and LoRee Lewis, one son, Kelly Lewis.
He is survived by three sons, Kirk Lewis and his wife Jane of Northfield, Minnesota, Keith Lewis of Missoula, Montana, Bryan Lewis and his wife Angie of Wichita, Kansas, one sister, Donna Pruitt and her husband Mel of Belleville, Kansas.
Graveside Inurnment services will be held Eleven AM, Saturday, May 5, 2012 at Grace Hill Cemetery, rural Belleville, Kansas.
Online condolences and information at
Bachelor-Surber Funeral Home, Belleville, KS. in charge of arrangements.


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