Jesse J. Lewis
Jesse J. Lewis Jr. Col., 80, of Fort Smith, left his earthly body on March 25, 2022, after a courageous battle with ALS. He was born on May 9, 1941 in Danville, VA to Jesse Lewis, Sr. and Margaret Neal Lewis. Jesse received a BS from Old Dominion University, an MBA from Southwest University. He was Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. Graduated from Command and General Staff College, National Defense University and the Air War College.
From 1965 through 1968 he attended basic training and Advanced Infantry training at Fort Gordon, GA., Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, GA. Platoon Leader and Executive officer, Schofield Barracks, HA. 1 Lt. Vietnam 1967-1968. From 1968-1997, Command and staff positions in the Pennsylvania National Guard and Army Reserve, including commanding three Battalions, and serving as Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistic for the 90th Army Reserve Command. Retired in 1997 as the Director of Personnel for the U.S. Army Reserve Garrison at Fort Chaffee, AR.
Jesse was awarded the Legion of Merit; Meritorious Service Medal with 1 bronze oak leaf cluster; Air Medal; Army Commendation Medal with 2 bronze oak leafs; Defense Service Medal with 1 bronze service star; Vietnam Service Medal with 3 bronze service stars; Armed Forces Reserve Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon W/Device (1960) Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/palm; Combat Infantryman Badge and Expert Badge with Rifle Bar. He was inducted into the AR Military Hall of Fame class of 2021 this past November.
After retiring from the military Jesse worked at numerous managerial positions, including Manager of Quality Engineering, Manager of Human Resources, Manager of Logistics Operations and Manager of Operations for Dixie Cup Manufacturing. He retired from James River/Dixie Cup in 2001 as Manager of Human Resources and Distribution Operations.
Jesse enjoyed golfing, fishing, hunting, traveling with his wife and spending time with his grandchildren.
He is survived by his loving wife Darlene Lewis and this coming May would have been their 49th Anniversary; two daughters, Heather England, Ashley Rapp and husband Freddie; one grandson, Bryce England; one granddaughter, Isabella Rapp; two sisters, Jackie and Gypsy; one brother, Sam; numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Jesse was a Past Master of the Sebastian Masonic Lodge #706. Life member of Victory Masonic Lodge #470 in Barling, AR; Received “Pillars of Solomon Award” Life Member of the Scottish Rite, 32nd Degree; Member of Rajah Shrine; Charter Member of the Darby Rangers Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. Life member of the MOAA; Life Member of the American Legion. Past Commander of the American Legion Post 31 in Fort Smith. Member of the Fort Benning Officer Candidate School “Hall of Fame”. Life Member of the Americal Division Veterans Association. Honorary Life Member of the Delta Company Veterans Association 1/20th 11th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. Past President of the Darby Rangers Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America 2019-2022. Board of Directors Crime stoppers Fort Smith, AR. Member of the AR military veteran’s hall of fame class of 2021.
A special thank you to Ronnie Apple.
Funeral Service will be 12:30 PM, Friday, April 1, at Edwards Funeral Home. Burial with full military honors will follow at Fort Smith National Cemetery. Viewing will be 8 AM till 7 PM, Thursday, March 31st, with visitation from 5 PM till 7 PM at the funeral home. To place online condolences, visit www.edwardsfuneralhome.com.
Active Pallbearers will be Bryce England, Freddie Rapp, John Dorton, Sam Lewis, Bobby Gunter, Ronnie Apple, Billy Richmond and Charlie Wingfield.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Elton Rambin, Bill Vines, Billy Dooly, American Legion Post 31, Darby Rangers CH-MOAA and Masonic Victory Lodge of Barling.
Posted online on March 29, 2022
Published in Southwest Times Record