Jack Lewis Obituary

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In Memory of

Jack Q. Lewis

July 21, 1923 - February 1, 2014
Obituary

Jack Q. Lewis, a life-long resident of Birmingham, passed away on February 1, 2014. Jack was born in 1923, the second son of John W. Lewis, originally from Epes, Alabama, and Ida Mae Quarles Lewis of Perry County, Alabama. Throughout his life, Jack was an active member of The First United Methodist Church, where he also served on the board. He was also was a long-time board member at Carraway Methodist Hospital. Jack graduated from Ramsay High School in 1941 and enrolled at the University of Alabama as an engineering student. With the outbreak of World War II, Jack enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Upon graduation, he entered Midshipmen's School...
Jack Q. Lewis, a life-long resident of Birmingham, passed away on February 1, 2014.
Jack was born in 1923, the second son of John W. Lewis, originally from Epes, Alabama, and Ida Mae Quarles Lewis of Perry County, Alabama.
Throughout his life, Jack was an active member of The First United Methodist Church, where he also served on the board. He was also was a long-time board member at Carraway Methodist Hospital.
Jack graduated from Ramsay High School in 1941 and enrolled at the University of Alabama as an engineering student. With the outbreak of World War II, Jack enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Upon graduation, he entered Midshipmen's School at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. In 1943, at age twenty, Jack became Assistant Engineering Officer on the destroyer USS Pringle, which was assigned to combat duty in the Pacific. The Pringle compiled a distinguished service record, seeing action in the Solomon Islands, New Georgia, Bougainville, the Marianas, Leyte Gulf, Luzon, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
On April 16, 1945, while on radar picket duty off Okinawa, the Pringle was hit amidships by a Japanese Kamikaze. The ship sank in six minutes with the loss of sixty-nine lives. While in the water awaiting pick-up by another ship, Jack rescued a number of his shipmates, and was later awarded the Bronze Star. He soon thereafter joined the crew of the destroyer USS Purdy, among the first ships of the U.S. Navy to sail into Tokyo Bay at war's end.
Jack returned to Birmingham after the war. He soon met the love of his life, Geraldine Boggs of Delta, Alabama, and they were married in 1950. Jack and Gerry settled in Edgewood and started their family, later moving to Crestwood and Mt. Brook. Gerry predeceased Jack in 2004, shortly before their fifty-fourth wedding anniversary.
With his father and brother, Jack built the Dixie Fire Brick Company, based in Kimberly, Alabama, into a leading supplier of fire brick and other refractory products. The Company became part of A.P. Green Refractories in the 1960's, and played key roles in major construction projects including the launch facilities at Cape Canaveral. Jack retired in 1985, and devoted much of his time to the Red Cross, his Church and his family.
Jack is survived by his brother John W. Lewis, Jr. and wife Marian Lewis of Birmingham; his son David Lewis and wife Tara Winkler Lewis of St. Louis, MO; his son Paul Lewis and wife Barbara Miller Lewis of Birmingham; and his daughter Barbara Lewis Mersereau and husband James Mersereau of Bethesda, MD. His grandchildren are Michael Lewis and Amanda Lewis of St. Louis; Blake Watson and husband Ihab Barakat of Cleveland, Alabama and Daniel Lewis and wife Leah of Gaithersburg, MD; and James Mersereau and wife Jenna of Memphis and Anna Cate Mersereau of Durham, NC. His loving family also includes six great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
Among the many things for which Jack will be remembered is his unshakably positive outlook on life. His optimism endured in the face of any adversity. No matter the circumstances, when asked how he was doing, his answer was "never better!" His was a life well-lived.
A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, February 5th at 11:00, at Elmwood Cemetery.
Jack's family is very grateful for the wonderful care he received at St. Martins in the Pines. They request that in lieu of flowers, donations in Jack's memory be made to St. Martins in the Pines, or the First United Methodist Church of Birmingham.

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Birmingham News
Jack Q. Lewis, a life-long resident of Birmingham, passed away on February 1, 2014. Jack was born in 1923, the second son of John W. Lewis,...

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