Michael Francis Lewis died among his family after a long life of heavy drinking, smoking, and debauchery. He shot forth onto Earth (Westover AFB MA) after a celestial explosion in the early hours of 12 April 54.
Our hero’s story began humbly in Massachusetts where he enjoyed childhood quests in the Middlesex Fells. The landscape and readings of Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman seeded Michael’s ambitions to own a plot of land in the boonies among tamaracks and wildlife. He achieved this ambition later in life with the creation of Sugar Mountain Ranch in Woodland, ME. Tales of his youth filled our home—from his austere employment at the Medford Public Library (always an avid reader) to his adventures in concert halls and folk music venues where he heard the greats before they became greats. Later in adolescence our hero would fearlessly frequent the “Combat Zone” of Boston and be quoted in his Malden Catholic High yearbook saying “talk softly but carry a lawn seeder”. This was an appropriate refrain after a lionhearted battle with the assistant headmaster for walking on the campus's freshly pruned lawn.
Mike's oratory skills were unmatched. Call it the gift of the gab: he was a seanchaí in his own right. He possessed a quickfire wit combining extraordinary eloquence with a side of obscenity that could make the most mundane or somber subject seem wonderfully funny. A mind capacious enough to appreciate irony, satire, and paradox, he used his powers for good, making those around him laugh and understand different points of views to prickly, sensitive subjects.
Mike was not one to judge those by their work. He understood that the sum of a human is more than what makes them money. That being said, his service in the USAF was a point of particular pride. He was presented numerous achievement awards for his innovative and outstanding leadership that honored his distinguished career as a Master Sergeant after 17 years of service to our country.
Our hero, though bawdy, was a gentle man. He found great love: the love of his life and yobo, Yong Sun Lewis. They cherished 38 years together. He crafted a loving home through careful dedication, attention, and love. Raising 4 goombahs, he maintained that his family was by far his most significant and meaningful engagement in this life.
With a laugh that will never be replicated, Mike knew what it meant to live the way you wanted, to be independent of mind, to tell a good story, to savor good fun. He had a tireless curiosity for the world around him and was a true Renaissance man, creating fine woodworking pieces, producing a new variety of apple tree (the Lewis Maximus), planting tobacco, mastering boule bread making, instrument making, poetry, woodcarving, and having a knack for starting multiple model airplane projects without completing them. Yobo, Bourbon Hunter, Infinite Genius, Big Lew, Dad—you will be missed.
Michael Lewis departed on 21 July 2022 in the early hours while the birds chirped and the breeze heralded another blissful summer day. He was surrounded by love. He leaves behind a sage wife, Yong, and their 4 children, Anthony of Lewiston, ME, Kathleen of Somerville, MA, Vincent of the Netherlands, and Siobhan of Bangor, ME, as well as three creative sisters, Deborah Haverty of Cambridge, MA, Patty Caldwell of Lincoln City, OR, and Roberta Pothier of Burlington, MA.
Visiting hours will be at Mockler Funeral Home this Friday, 29 July 2022 at 24 Reservoir Street, Caribou, ME from 1200-1345. Burial will directly follow at the Northern Maine Veterans Cemetery, 37 Lombard Road, Caribou, ME at 1400.