PROSPECT – Eugene R. Lewis, beloved husband of 63 years to his late wife Doris, died peacefully at his home in Prospect on October 11, 2022, four days shy of his 93rd birthday.
He was the son of Alida (Bernier) and Eugene C. Lewis and a proud member of the Connecticut Society for Mayflower Descendants. Born at home on his grandfather’s farm in Prospect in 1929, Sonny, as he was affectionately known to his beloved uncle and six maternal aunts, grew up surrounded by family, fields, orchards and streams. who instilled in him a lifelong love for nature, bird watching, hiking and gardening.
Growing up on the farm with a loving extended family in the midst of the Great Depression, instilled in him a spirit of self-reliance and nurtured his strong work ethic, optimism and commitment to the family, friends and community that would define him. all his life. life.
During his elementary school years, he would walk to the one-room schoolhouse a mile down the dirt road where four classes sat together, warmed by a wood stove, learning their three Rs.
Gene graduated from Crosby High School and earned a BS in Industrial Administration from UConn ’52. After graduating, he attended Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, receiving his ensign’s commission later that same year.
He married Doris Theroux, the beautiful girl he met at a church dance, just days before his first deployment to the Korean conflict in December 1952. He served three years on active duty, reaching the chief engineer position on the destroyer USS Benner.
He then joined the Naval Reserve unit in New Haven, serving as a commanding officer before his military retirement in 1973.
After giving birth to five children in six years, Gene started Lewis Construction Co. He spent his few free hours on nights and weekends in 1960 building, with the help of his father, his first house to accommodate his large family and a multitude of precious pets.
Gene’s son David joined the company full time in 1977. It was during the oil embargo and energy crisis of 1979 that the decision was made to redirect efforts to the manufacturing division known as name of Foam Plastics of New England.
Together, Gene and David developed the division’s portfolio of patented energy-saving products, and it was spun off and renamed Polar Industries, now an industry leader in the development and manufacturing of energy-saving products and systems. innovative energy-saving construction.
Over the years, Gene has cared for his parents and large family with tireless energy and joy, and has been quietly generous beyond measure to many organizations in his beloved town of Prospect.
Eugene was a loyal and tireless caregiver to Doris, following a debilitating stroke until her death in 2016. His dearest friend, Jim Davis, helped him build an addition to his home so that Doris may continue to enjoy and benefit from the health benefits of the beautiful home. and nature sanctuary they had created together.
Gene’s garden in Prospect is renowned for attracting an unimaginable menagerie of birds and wildlife, so much so that cars would stop to photograph deer, turkeys, foxes and bears. Even Mayor Bob recently captured videos of a mother bear leading her three cubs to dinner at Gene’s many bird feeders.
Gene spent over 62 summers on Kelsey Island in Branford, being introduced to this unique paradise by his aunt and uncle, Lillian and Clayton Walters. He was lucky enough to form deep and lasting friendships with other “islanders” and organized decades of family adventures of summer camping, boating and fishing.
Gene was predeceased by Doris and her sister, Bonnie Thayer. The surviving family includes their children, Claudia Guynn (Bob), David Lewis (Nancy), Jennifer Lewis, Rose Dufour and Melissa Tweedie (Mark); grandchildren Brandon Dufour (Teresa), Samantha Tweedie, Evan Dufour, Alyse Dufour, Brian Tweedie, Sarah Lewis, Emily Guynn Vincent (Matthew) and Rachel Lewis (and fiancé Andrew Yourick); and great-grandchildren Dante and Angelina Dufour and Brooklynn Vincent.
The family would like to thank Senior Bridge, VITAS Heathcare and all the friends and neighbors who have offered their love and support over the years.
There are no call times and funeral services will be private.
Gene would be honored by your kindness to others by donating to the Prospect Food Bank or Prospect Fuel Fund, 36 Center St., Prospect, CT 06712.
Prospect Memorial / The Palmerie Family Funeral Home is honored to serve the Lewis family. For online expressions of sympathy, please visit prospectmemorial.com.