John R Lewis

October 18, 1938 ~ December 3, 2020 (age 82)


Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories – Ronald Reagan

That perfectly describes John R. Lewis, Sr. who passed peacefully on December 3, 2020, at the age of 82.   

John was born October 18, 1938, in Houtzdale, PA to the late Robert and Margaret (Sherkel) Lewis.  On April 22, 1961, he married his true love, Rosalie Greenawalt, and they were blessed with six children, two sons and four daughters. They were married 38 years before Rosalie was taken to be with the Lord on October 31, 1999.

John spent his entire career in the asphalt paving industry. He worked at Herbert R. Imbt, Interstate Amesite for many years and then for New Enterprise Stone and Lime before he retired in 2000.  After retirement, he helped his sons with Lewis Paving and Sealing.

John worked hard but his real joy came from spending time with his family and friends. No matter where John went, he knew someone. He belonged to the Knights of Columbus, Houtzdale Moose Loom 327, Morann Citizen Club, and the Croation Club. His favorite hangout was the Trella Clubhouse, where he could be found most Saturdays playing cards and watching sports with the guys.

John cared deeply for his kids and grandkids who all remember his infamous whistle and that they could never leave his house without hearing his famous sendoff— “keep your powder dry!” He looked forward to his annual Memorial Day canoe trip, watching his children and grandchildren play sports and hunting at the Dude Ranch with his sons, grandsons, brother and nephews.

John is survived by his six children John (Tonya) Lewis Jr. of Ginter, James (Kim) Lewis of Fernwood, Lorraine (Shawn) Grattan of Houtzdale, Angela (Chris) Davis of Maple Valley, WA, Mary (Ernest) Mickens, Edgewood, MD and Elizabeth (Ryan) Shoemaker of Houtzdale.   Eleven grandchildren, Tiffany Lewis, John R. Lewis III, Jaynie Lewis, Joshua Lewis, Chelsea Domanick, Connor Holobinko, Chase Shoemaker, Hannah Davis, Rachel Davis, Emily Mickens, and Thomas Mickens.  Five great-grandchildren, Kendra Lewis, Kelsea Roberts, Jacob Lewis, Tyler Lewis, and Sayer Lewis.   He is also survived by his Brother, Richard (Shirley) Lewis of Smithmill and Brother-In Law’s, Robert Abernethy of State College and John Greenawalt of North Carolina. And numerous nieces and nephews. 

Preceding him in death were his parents; wife; grandson, Matthew Lewis; sister, Margaret (Peg) Abernethy; sister-in-law Mary Ellen Greenawalt and brother-in-law’s Paul and Thomas Greenawalt.  Due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions there will be a private family viewing.   

A public Mass of Christian Burial service will be celebrated at Christ the King Catholic Church, Houtzdale on Monday December 7, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. with Father Joseph Czarkowski as celebrant.  John will be laid to rest beside his wife at Christ the King Saint Lawrence Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers please support the Houtzdale businesses and tell them Pap John sent you.

Arrangements are in the care of  Birger A. Freeberg Funeral Home Inc., Houtzdale

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Mass of Christian Burial
December 7, 2020

11:00 AM
Christ the King Catholic Church
Brisbin Street
Houtzdale, PA 16651

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