Robert Wesley Lewis, 90, ferry captain, gardener

July 25, 2004

Robert Wesley Lewis, a one-time deckhand and captain of an Ohio River ferry who later became an operator of heavy equipment, died of cancer Wednesday at his Highland home. He was 90.

Mr. Lewis was born and raised in Great Bend, Ohio, a town that overlooks the Ohio River. As a young man, he worked as a deckhand on river steamers and dredges, and was captain of the ferry connecting Great Bend and Ravenswood, W.Va.

After leaving the river, he operated heavy equipment on highway projects for Dravo Co., where he worked until his retirement in 1982. He then moved to Highland.

A member of the Ohio Operating Engineers, Mr. Lewis was also an avid vegetable gardener whose bounty regularly won ribbons at the Maryland State Fair in Timonium. He also enjoyed hunting.

He was a member of Rolling Hills Baptist Church in Clarksville.

A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. today at Donaldson Funeral Home, 313 Talbott Ave. in Laurel.

Mr. Lewis is survived by his wife of 67 years, the former Isabel Harris; two sons, Robert L. Lewis of Highland and Larry T. Lewis of Littlestown, Pa.; three daughters, Donna J. Hayman of Laurel, Kathleen L. Elmore of Millersville and Brenda K. Saucedo of Ellicott City; a brother, Samuel Lewis of Okeechobee, Fla.; 11 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

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