Live Oak —
Lt. Col. Ralph H. Lewis
September 10, 1920 -
September 22, 2010
Lt. Col. Ralph H. Lewis, USMC, Retired, age 90, an Officer and a Gentleman, passed away peacefully on Wednesday September 22, 2010 at North Florida Rehabilitation and Specialty Care Center in Gainesville. He was born in Matawan, N.J. on September 10, 1920.
Colonel Lewis served in World War II as a pilot in the South Pacific, Okinawa, Korea, Viet Nam, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Haiti. He participated in the following campaigns; Guadalcanal, Munda, Eastern Solomon Islands, Bougainville, Northern Solomon Islands and Bismarck Archipelago. Colonel Lewis was in the first part of the Korean War, flying into action off of the U.S. Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was also the Commander of the Second Battalion First Marines in the early stages of the Viet Nam War. Col. Lewis was stationed at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, Jacksonville, N.C. as Commanding Officer of the 2nd Tank Battalion when he retired from the Marine Corps in December 1966. He was highly decorated, including receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Upon his retirement he moved to Gainesville, Fla. with his wife Eloise and his daughter Dee and began his employment with the University of Florida in Gainesville. Mr. Lewis was employed as Assistant Director of Career Placement as well as an Adjunct Professor in the Sociology Department.
Mr. Lewis was a lifetime member of the Edward R. Rowe Masonic Lodge # 374, where he served as Worshipful Master for two years, and was also a member of the Eastern Star Lodge #44, where he served as Worthy Patron for two years. He was also a lifetime member of the Marine Corps League, where he served as Judge Advocate for several terms. Col. Lewis was preceded in death by his daughter De Loura Dae Lewis Harrison, and earlier this month by his loving wife of 67 years, Helen Eloise Dorsett Lewis. Uncle Ralph is survived by his grandson Brett Harrison of San Francisco, Cal., family and a host of loyal friends.
There was a visitation at the funeral home Thursday evening from 5-7 p.m., where funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday September 24, 2010. Interment will follow at 2 p.m., with military honors at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Fla. Milam Funeral and Cremation Services 311 South Main Street Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 376-5361