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  • Tribute to Andrew J. Lewis

    by Representative James E. Clyburn

    Posted on 2013-12-10

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    CLYBURN of south carolina in the house of representatives Tuesday, December 10, 2013 Mr. CLYBURN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remember and pay tribute to Mr. Andrew J. Lewis, a pillar of the Columbia, South Carolina community. As an elementary school teacher, assistant principal, and principal, Mr. Lewis touched the lives of countless students over many decades.

    Mr. Andrew Jackson Lewis was born on June 2, 1917 in Sumter County, South Carolina, the oldest of eleven children of Sam and Rosa Lewis, Sr. He married Margaret Pearson Lewis on Valentine's Day 1942; they remained married until her death this past April. He leaves behind a daughter, Andrea Lewis Jones, two grandchildren, and three great- grandchildren.

    Educated in Sumter County Public Schools, Mr. Lewis was valedictorian of his class at Lincoln High School. He graduated cum laude from Benedict College with a degree in mathematics. At Benedict, he was a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, which means I am proud to call him a brother. He went on to receive a Master of Science degree from my alma mater, South Carolina State University. He also served honorably in the U.S. Army Air Forces, earning the rank of Technical Sergeant.

    Mr. Lewis's professional career began at Celia Saxon Elementary School in 1946. He later became Assistant Principal at W.A. Perry Middle School and then Principal at Greenview Elementary School, a position he held for 16 years until his retirement in 1982. My three daughters attended Greenview Elementary School, and I saw firsthand the positive impact he had on them and all of the students under his charge. He was held in such high regard at Greenview that after his retirement, the school was renamed the A.J. Lewis Greenview Elementary School.

    A devoted member of Chappelle Memorial AME Church, Mr. Lewis served on the Steward Board under three different pastors, worked diligently on the Budget and Finance Committee, and chaired the Men's Day programs for ten years. With this level of dedication, Mr. Lewis was given the well-deserved honor of ``Man of the Year'' by the church in 1985.

    Mr. Lewis was widely involved in the broader Columbia community as well. He was a member of the Capital City Lodge #47 (Price Hall F&A Masons), the Columbia Transportation and Advisory Committee, the Columbia Municipal Elections Committee, and the Richland County and South Carolina Retired Educators Associations. He served as chaplain of the Benedict Columbia Alumni #2 Club, president and vice president of the Columbia Luncheon Club, president of the United Martin Family of South Carolina, as vice president of the Shandon Neighborhood Council, and as a member of the committee that renamed Valley Park the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.

    In recognition of this impressive record of service to the community, Mr. Lewis received the O.P. Taylor Humanitarian Award and the Living the Legacy Award as an outstanding educator from the National Council of Negro Women. Mr. Speaker, I ask you and my colleagues to join me in remembering this distinguished educator and community leader. Mr. Lewis will be sorely missed, but his contributions will live on in perpetuity.


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