LEWIS, Roy - (May 17, 1924- October 2, 2016) - Born in St. Catharines, ON, Roy was the youngest of Edith and John Lewis' four sons. (Entering the world at nearly whopping 10 lbs, he was more than a handful from the very start!)
Growing up in Merritton, Roy did as most young boys did at the time: enjoyed summers swimming in the Welland canal and chasing girls with snakes down the railway tracks which ran through town, one of whom would ultimately become his wife. Having a job at the local grocery store during his teen years, he saved his weekly pay until he was able to buy his first car, a 1936 Studebaker, for a staggering $75.
Upon graduation from Merritton High School, Roy enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. He served in Canada and abroad as a pilot and air traffic controller. His service to his country was something of which he was always proud.
After returning home from service, Roy married his childhood sweetheart, Audrey Coulson, and built their first home in Merritton back in 1946. In the years that followed, they would be blessed with one daughter, Shelley, as they built their careers and lives together.
Roy became well-known in the Niagara community, after his business, Lewis Interiors, became the premier destination for interior decorating and design.
After years of apprenticing and courses, he decided to venture out on his own and start his own business. Located in the then brand-new Pen Centre, his store serviced both residential and corporate needs of the residents of the Niagara Peninsula and beyond.
Sought after by clients, Roy's design touch was in demand, furnishing notable landmark buildings when they were first constructed, including the St. Catharines Downtown Public Library and the offices of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. Continually in demand, he worked tirelessly with an impeccable eye for detail and demand for perfection until health problems led him to retire from the business.
After surviving a near-fatal heart attack and triple-bypass surgery, Roy enjoyed a new lease on life, starting a new career in real estate sales, designing and selling homes in the retirement community of Black Creek, in Stevensville, ON. Utilizing his architecture skills, he designed floor plans which Northlander Homes built for the multi-million dollar real estate development. As the Sales Manager, he also coordinated new and resale sales, working six days a week until retiring at the age of 78.
Roy enjoyed anything related to airplanes, and this love would lead him on some fantastic adventures. In addition to teaching advanced aerobatics at Niagara District Airport and being a member of the St. Catharines Flying Club, Roy piloted his photographer friend, Wayne Farrar, to capture some of the most breathtaking aerial shots.
An avid golfer, Roy played as often as he could. Whether it was a trip to the driving range or 9 holes after work, he enjoyed the time spent with a club in his hand. A winner of the Niagara-On-The-Lake Golf Club's New Year's Day Tournament, he played in a weekly league with business associates and was quite proud of his ability to consistently shoot within a couple strokes of par.
But most of all, Roy enjoyed spending time with his family. Whether it was yearly vacations to Florida or relaxing together after a day at work, Roy always found the time to spend with his loved ones. Weekends on the town, always dressed in suit and tie, he enjoyed treating them to dinner at some of his favourite restaurants.
He became a father figure to his grandchildren, Rochelle and Jeffery, who he loved as his own, and welcomed Philip into the family and his heart, who affectionately called him "Sir." Always there with loving support, guidance and his somewhat acerbic wit, his presence was a blessing which will surely be truly missed.
Sadly, from constant exposure to sun while enjoying the outdoors, Roy developed skin cancer from recurrent sunburns. After extensive Squamous Cell Carcinoma removal and reconstruction surgeries in the 1990s, Roy remained cancer-free for nearly 20 years before a resurgence of the disease.
After fighting a long and courageous battle, Roy passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was 92 years old.
Roy survived by his wife Audrey, daughter Shelley, granddaughter Rochelle, grandson Jeffery and predeceased by his grandson-in-law Philip.
*Many thanks to the staff and support services of Hotel Dieu Shaver Hospital, Palliative Care Unit, in St. Catharines, ON, for their compassion and care during his extensive hospital stay. Additional thanks to the Radiation Department of Juravinski Hospital, in Hamilton, ON, CCAC Niagara and Wound Care Specialists from St. Elizabeth's Nursing for their assistance.