Melvin Lewis, of Hillsboro, Illinois, formerly of Fredericktown, Missouri, passed away peacefully on December 30th at the age of 85.
Melvin was born to Melvin Lewis Sr. and Alice Lewis on January 15, 1936 in Shaw, Mississippi. He loved telling stories about his childhood there, which he shared with his brother (David) and sister (Dorothy), both of whom preceded him in death. Melvin’s father died in a drowning accident while hunting when Melvin was just 7 years old. His mother remarried twice, first to Frank Jenkins, which resulted in Melvin gaining five half-siblings: James, Claude, Peggy, and Faye (all deceased), and Shirley, who survives. Their father, Frank, was a brother of Conway Twitty’s father, making Melvin and Conway cousins. His second stepfather, Willie Crowder, who was half Cherokee Indian, brought joy to all of their lives.
Melvin was in the National Guard and attended Army boot camp in 1958. While he did not speak much about these things, one story he did share many times was how he attended a gathering at Elvis Presley’s trailer when he was exiting, and Elvis was entering the service.
In 1973, Melvin married Cathy Chapman in Fredericktown, Missouri, where they spent over 40 years of their marriage. They share a daughter, Melanie (husband, Chris) Sherer and granddaughters, Hannah (husband, Ryan) Piehl, Chloe Sherer, and Mia Sherer. Coming into this marriage with Melvin were children, Melvin “Buck” Lewis, Brenda (spouse, Wayne) Johnson, Diane (spouse, Ricky) Millican, Hairl Lewis (companion, Laura), and stepchildren, Beverly (husband, Dennis) Lundy, and Frankie (husband, Tom) Romi. Melvin was also blessed with 16 additional grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.
During his lifetime, Melvin worked as a truck driver, worked for Orkin Pest Control and retired from Madison County Woods Products in Fredericktown, Missouri after 30+ years. Melvin enjoyed chewing tobacco, fishing, western movies, watching professional wrestling, going country to music dance halls, and visiting family in Mississippi. Melvin had a super soft spot for cats and dogs. He was very opinionated, and wouldn’t hesitate to share those opinions with you.
Melvin enjoyed the past 8 years with Cathy in Hillsboro, Illinois, where he was able to spend time with the Sherer girls and their pets. Melvin also enjoyed going out to eat at Cozy Café, Huddle House, the Garden Family Restaurant, and China Wok. Melvin always enjoyed seeing friends and neighbors out in the community and sharing smiles with them. Melvin will always be remembered for his remarks of Good Day when saying goodbye.
Friends and family are invited to attend a celebration of Melvin’s life on January 15th, from 1-4 pm at the Event Center of Montgomery County on what would have been Melvin’s 86th birthday. A eulogy and remembrance time will be held around 2:30 pm, with food and fellowship throughout.
Cremation rites were accorded and memorials are suggested for the family.
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