Rowena Proctor Lewis, 88, school social worker

February 08, 2003

Rowena Proctor Lewis, 88, school social worker

Rowena Proctor Lewis, a retired social worker with Baltimore's public schools, died of heart failure Feb. 1 at her Northwest Baltimore home. She was 88.

She retired in 1981 as a regional specialist for pupil services, and then volunteered in many efforts with youths.

After graduating from Frederick Douglass High School in 1931, Mrs. Lewis continued her education at what is now Morgan State University. In 1960, she earned a master's degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania.

She was an active alumna at both Douglass and Morgan throughout her life, serving on Morgan's National Alumni Board and helping to establish scholarship funds at Douglass.

"Her main idea was to help kids get into college," said Jewell Chambers, a family friend. "There were times when she actually hand-delivered applications to area colleges."

She married William E. Lewis, a World War II veteran who later worked as technician for the National Security Agency, on July 4, 1944.

Mr. Lewis died in 1994.

Mrs. Lewis and her husband were amateur photographers who filled many albums with photos from their travels.

Mrs. Lewis also could "sew up and cook up a storm," said Ms. Chambers of Baltimore.

Mrs. Lewis was a lifetime member of St. James Episcopal Church in Baltimore and was a longtime volunteer and tutor at St. James Academy, the church's community outreach center.

"She had no children of her own, but through all of her volunteer activities, a lot of Baltimore's kids became her kids," said Ms. Chambers.

Services are at 11 a.m. today at the church at Lafayette and Arlington avenues.

A niece, Lois Waters of Baltimore, survives her.

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