It is with great sadness we announce Charles Franklin Lewis, "Chuck", 85, of Scottsdale, Arizona, passed away on the 26th of March 2021.
A celebration of life will take place at the Masonic Lodge in the Masonic Park in South Fork, Colorado on the 6th of July 2021.
Charles was born in Monte Vista, Colorado on the 14th of March 1936 to Frank and Maryanna Lewis. He graduated from Center High School and went to the Socorro School of Mines in New Mexico to study geology. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado.
Charles was married to Janice Pauline Carroll on June 2nd, 1957, they were married for 64 years.
Charles began his career working with the Bureau of Mines in Salt Lake City, Utah and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1963 where he worked as a Research Chemist at Arizona State University for more than 30 years, as well as being the curator of the Nininger Meteorite Collection, the largest in the world. He also worked for NASA during the Apollo moon missions, where he studied and analyzed the lunar samples.
His passion for minerals, fossils and meteorites was the highlight of his life and he was greatly respected among his peers around the world. He was an amazing wood worker as well as an accomplished jewelry maker. He was also an incredibly avid reader.
Charles is survived by his loving wife Janice Carroll Lewis, his five children; Janice Kathleen Lewis, of Vancouver, Canada, Dr. Kenneth Lewis of Grand Junction, Colorado, Koni Faver of Phoenix, Arizona, Kristyne Livingston of Hemet, California, Karen Hart of Phoenix, Arizona. He was blessed with nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to:
National Museum of Natural History
PO Box 418320
Boston, MA 02241-8320
Add "Gift for the Dept of Mineral Sciences in honor of Charles F. Lewis" on check memo and/or include a letter with this information.
The Lewis family will be made aware of any donations made.
"I will follow up with what Barb, my wife has written.
Our Masonic Park cabins not more than 40 feet apart put us in close proximity to all Chuck and Jan?s comings and goings.
Chuck and Jan would arrive usually pulling a trailer loaded with stuff. Sometimes they came in two rigs, a car and a pickup. I always imagined they were filled with food, because it was long after they arrived that a parade of their kids, grandkids and friends descended upon them.
That?s my first memory of Chuck, unloading his stuff, saying our hellos, and him telling me his plan to read more this summer than last, attend the Creede and Denver mineral shows, and relax. But, I was never sure of the relax part with constant company.
Chuck and I shared some of the same memories. He, like me, helped his dad build their summer cabin. I helped my Dad in Coal Creek, near Denver and Chuck helped his Dad when he also was 13. The only difference, a big one, was his Dad?s cabin is the one in Masonic Park.
Chuck had lots of stories about how he spent his summers exploring from the park and beyond to Creede. His stories were great, filled with not only facts about minerals to be found but also geologic sites to be seen and the history that went along with them. Want to find crystals, amethyst, turquoise, or agates? Just ask Chuck and he not only pointed you but he gave you the whole story. And, best of all he was our next door neighbor.
I see that most everyone wrote about Chuck?s good humor, kindness and love for his family, all of which are true. But I shall always remember Chuck for his strength of character, forthrightness and candor.
To Jan, all the kids and grandkids, I send my love and prayers. I know that Chuck is in a better place and I hope to see him again, when the time comes.
"I don\'t know who you are Steve Fedder but you wrote a very beautiful and moving memory of Chuck. I couldn\'t agree with you more! Chuck and Jan were our next door summer neighbors for 22 years and it was our good fortune to know them both. And all the kids...and kids spouses...then grandkids too. They were and are quite the family!
As I reflect on Chuck\'s picture here on the tribute page, his kind eyes speak volumes. I loved it when he wore his Hawaii shirts too! I\'ve always loved rocks and minerals and I was super impressed with Chuck\'s encyclopedic knowledge of the natural world including meteorites! One day Chuck gave me a slice of sowbelly amethyst which I have sitting in my office to this day. I treasure it now in his memory. One thing I didn\'t read in the tributes but I think is notable, is that, as I recall, Chuck was always good at calling a spade a spade. He was not a guy you could fool.
I always liked that about Chuck. Chuck had a set of time honored cherished values and he stuck to them. The world was better for it. I was better for it! We\'ll keep you all in our thoughts and prayers during the summer months of 2021. At age 83, Bill (my husband) probably won\'t be up to traveling in July to South Fork but we will for sure keep you all in our hearts on July 6th! Barbara Grannell"
A small card arriving in the mail today from that Scottsdale address could only mean one thing: the funny, kind, intelligent and incredibly family oriented Chuck Lewis had passed away. I knew Chuck and Jan from 1972-1984 and came away much the better for it. As a Colorado native, I was especially fond of seeing how excited Chuck would get during Spring as the Lewis family summer sojourn to the cabin in South Fork approached. I heard a lot about all those K kids as they grew up. For years I stashed my readings in those great bookshelf units Chuck was so good at making. A man of character, humor, kindness, and loyalty to family has departed the physical realm but will always be such a great part of the memories of all of us who were lucky enough to have journeyed through parts of life with him! Farewell Chuck and love and support to Jan and all the K\'s.
Steve Fedder (Livermore, CA)"
"My dear Jan, and your family. I remember Chuck as being so kind, and when Richard and I visited your home in South Fork, how excited he was that we like antiques! He was a special person. Laurie"
"Dear Jan and Family:
I knew Chuck to be a quiet, kind and gentle man. May God bless his soul. He is an angel in his heavenly home watching over you now throughout your lifetime.
May God comfort you with His everlasting love in strength and courage and to help you move on remembering his legacy and beautiful memories of so many years.
Blessings to my sorority sister, Jan, and her beautiful family!
"I want to remember Chuck\'s sense of humor. I first met Chuck when I was hired by the ASU Chemistry Department in 1968, right out of the Army. He struck me as a little rough but I soon discovered that was just the exterior. Before long we were telling each other jokes and stories. There are too many to recount and most are of the \"you had to be there\" type, so I won\'t even try. He taught me quite a bit about minerals, polishing techniques and so much more....such as don\'t call him a rock collector, he\'s a mineral collector. Hummph.
So, as Bob Hope used to say....Thanks for the memories!
My deepest condolences to Chuck\'s family. You\'re part of my memories too.\\
"My boyfriend said Chuck made the best grilledsteaks he ever had.
"Chuck was like a second father to nme. I used to hang around at his house all thr time. One day he gave as precious gift. He had mde me a knife and leather sheath with a loop to put it on a belt. I treasure that knife and all the memories. Be at pece , Chuck, you are so loved and are missed deeply. Now the pita knee won\'t bother youMay all who loved him finfd.strenth and peace tio get through the coming days."
"Dear Jan & Family,
I\'m so sorry to hear of Chuck\'s passing. Jan and Chuck have always treated me and loved me like their own family. I was SO blessed to sing in the choir with Jan at North Scottsdale UMC and to become friends with both her and Chuck. Jan helped me learn more about quilting, sewing and cross stitch. One year, Chuck made me the most beautiful gift, a handmade wooden cross-stitch frame and lap mount. He and Jan were always so generous and thoughtful towards me. I will always treasure Chuck\'s kindness towards me and think of him often.
May God\'s peace be with you all during your time of grief and celebration. I am confident he\'s smiling and proud of the legacy he left behind. My prayers are with you all!
My love to you all & especially Jan,
April (Gant) Martinez"
"Dear Jan and family. Gary and I have been so blessed to have been friends with you and Chuck. We loved the summers that we stayed in your driveway in South Fork and looked at the Rio Grande, enjoyed the birds and other animals (even the bear the came to the porch one evening and drained the hummingbird feeder). You took us places to show us the beauty and history of the area, including our trips to Creede. We enjoyed our Tucson Gem show. So many memories, all good. "