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Baby Black Bear by Chuck Wiser

Dr. George Thompson Lewis, Salem NY


Dr. George Thompson Lewis was the only child of Carl Arthur Kenyon Lewis and Ruth Noble Gage Lewis.  He was born on July 28, 1937, in Ithaca, New York, where his father was with Cornell.  During World War II, George’s family moved to their old family property overlooking Canandaigua Lake, where he attended the Middlesex Valley School, graduating in 1955 as Salutatorian.  George then earned a Bachelor of Science at Alfred University, where he continued on to receive his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Solid State Materials Science in 1964.  In 1965, George married the former Linda Embser of Wellsville, New York, whom he met in college.  They were married for 57 years and had 4 children and 8 grandchildren.

At Alfred University, Dr. Lewis was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, graduating as First Lieutenant and later retiring as an U.S. Army Captain.  After graduation, Dr. Lewis was posted to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Houston, Texas.  At NASA, he was Manager of the Microelectronic Applications Division where he worked on both the Gemini and the Apollo Space Missions within a group charged with the development of the handheld video camera and the backpack communication system used in the First Moon Landing.  After NASA, Dr. Lewis accepted a position as Technical Assistant to the IBM Director of Manufacturing Research.  Within a year, he was posted to Paris, France, where he was the Manager of Components Technology for IBM Europe.  George and Linda remained in France for a number of years, traveling widely.

Returning to the United States, Dr. Lewis became Manager of Future Manufacturing Systems in the IBM Systems Products Division and, in 1978, he became Program Manager of Product Engineering for IBM Europe, Middle East, and Africa.  In 1983, as part of the Systems Research Institute, he was granted an IBM Manufacturing Sabbatical Program, pursuing independent research and study with a concentration in Advanced Process Control Applications.  The program led to the establishment of a post-graduate field of study in Process Control at the IBM Manufacturing Technology Institute, where he became a Senior Consultant, designing a program that involved major American and European universities.  Dr. Lewis was the 1984 recipient of the United States Senate Productivity Award.

In 1986, Dr. Lewis was posted to the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok, Thailand, as Director of the Regional Computer Center, where senior professionals and graduate students from all over Asia came for specialized training in advanced technologies.  While at AIT, he spent an entire day with the beloved King of Thailand, and met weekly with his daughter, the Princess of Thailand.  When the position ended, the family, along with Linda’s sister, Susan Embser, traveled home overland from Thailand as much as was possible through India, Nepal, Kashmir, Hong Kong, Japan, Siberia, and the former Soviet Union all through the Ural Mountains to the Gulf of Finland, Belarus, Poland, East Germany, and West Germany, arriving back in the United States just in time for the start of the school year.

In 1991, Dr. Lewis accepted the position of U.S. Senior Technical Advisor to Dr. Bacharuddin Jusuf (BJ) Habibie, the Republic of Indonesia’s State Minister of Research and Technology.  Dr. Habibie subsequently became President of Indonesia in 1998, afterwhich Dr. Lewis accepted a position as Managing Director of the Hughes International Corporation for Indonesia.  At the end of 1998, after several tumultuous months in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the May 1998 Indonesian Riots and Revolution, the family returned to the United States to Saratoga Springs, New York, where they had a summer home.  In retirement, Dr. Lewis became a Technology Consultant and International Tax Advisor, working with H&R Block in Saratoga County.  When the children were mostly finished with college and graduate school, George and his wife, Linda, retired to Salem, New York, where they purchased the Historic Audubon House where they have lived ever since.

  George was a wonderful husband and an immensely proud, loving, and supportive father to all of his children and children-in-law.  His son, Thomas Dunn Lewis, is married to Jennifer Castro Anderson of Washington, D.C.  Tom is an Administrator with Georgetown University and Jen is an Attorney.  They are the parents of Thomas Joseph and Adelaide.  George’s second son, Michael-George Lewis, is married to Ai Muraoka of Hiroshima, Japan, and they have three sons, Amane, Seia, and Kensei.  Michael teaches at a charter school in Rhode Island and at a college in Massachusetts.  Daughter Caitlain Devereaux Lewis is married to Thomas Joseph Clary from just across the street in Salem, New York.  They are the parents of twins, Vera and Louise, and Baby Agnes.  Caitlain is an Attorney and Tom is a CPA.  The youngest, Courtenay Dunn Lewis, is married to Shawn Flanagan whom she met when they were both Ph.D. students in Neurobiology at the University of Connecticut.

All of his life, George was interested in Music, Photography, and Automobiles, and was even a Licensed Commercial Hot Air Balloon Pilot.  George made many friends all over the world over the course of his life, all of whom he valued greatly.  He was an eminently decent man.  He was a gentleman.

Calling Hours in Salem, New York, will be held at the McClellan-Gariepy Funeral Home on Saturday, November 19, 2022, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

The Funeral will be held in Wellsville, New York, with Calling Hours at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home on Monday, November 21, 2022, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  A Requiem Mass will be held at Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville, New York, on Tuesday, November 22, at 1:00 p.m.

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