Friends mourn Lewis

Published 12:23 am Wednesday, July 16, 2008

By By Lydia Grimes – features reporter
Former Brewton councilman and police officer Walter O. “Jake” Lewis once said he thought he'd made a difference in his career as a public servant.
In remembering their colleague Tuesday, friends agreed that Lewis - who died Monday at the age of 83 - had made an impact personally and professionally.
Brewton police Lt. Feast Broughton remembered Lewis - his supervisor on the night shift when he started work at the police department - as a “strong man” who was always by the book.
Eric Suarez also worked with Lewis at the police department.
Councilman Frank Cotten worked with Lewis on city business but also coached Lewis' son, Walter Lewis, at T.R. Miller High School. Walter Lewis also played football at the University of Alabama.
Cotten said Lewis stuck to his principles as a public servant.
Lewis, was the only child of Albert and Essie Lewis, and was born Aug. 2, 1924, on Cemetery Road in Brewton. His mother was a teacher, and he once said she wanted him to have a good education.
Lewis was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army. Although he counted every one of his days in service, he said later that it afforded him a good education at Tuskegee Institute on the GI Bill.
Lewis graduated from Tuskegee in 1948 majoring as a brick mason. He returned to Brewton and began to work with Jack W. Hines Realty. During the 38 years he worked with Hines Realty, he was holding down two other jobs. He worked all day with the realty company, then went to work at the Brewton Country Club until after the supper rush left and then to the Brewton Police Department working into the wee hours of the morning.
After 38 years at Hines Realty, Lewis went to work on a full-time basis for the Brewton Police Department. He became a familiar sight as the escort for T.R. Miller High School football team along with his other duties. He retired from the police department in 1990, but continued to work until 1996, rising in ranks to become a lieutenant.
In 1996, Lewis decided to run for public office and won a seat on the city council. He retired in 2006 for health reasons.
In an interview with The Brewton Standard in 2001, Lewis said that he hoped he had made a difference.
Lewis and his wife, Ethel Jewell, were the parents of three children, Kimii D. Felder, Gail D. Lewis, and Walter D. Lewis. Gail D. Lewis preceded her father in death.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Presley-Fluker Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at T.R. Miller High School Auditorium.