Heath and Vaughn Funeral Home - Champaign Il

Today is

Walter H. Lewis

Walter H. Lewis, 85, of Champaign, died Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.

He was born Aug. 28, 1928, in Fairmount to Walter H. and Mildred (Stultz) Lewis. He married Mary Read Dec. 24, 1950, in Bloomington. She survives in Champaign, along with two daughters, Dianne (Bernie) McNamara, Lexington, and Jane Compton, Bloomington; six grandchildren, Austin (Tracy) McNamara, Bloomington, Cameron McNamara and Evan McNamara, Lexington, Jordan McNamara, Bloomington, Kelley (fiancé Brien Kinsella) NcNamara, Towanda and Preston McNamara, Colfax.

Also surviving are a brother, Robert (Carline) Lewis, Wichita, Kan., and a daughter-in-law, Gina Lewis, Gilmer, Tex.

He was preceded in death by his son, Jeffry, in 2002, and two sisters, Margaret and Sara.

Private family inurnment will be in the Columbarium at Wesley Methodist Church, where he served on the building committee and was a member of the Men’s Bible Study Group.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Levis Faculty Center, Urbana, from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, with a ceremony at 2:00 p.m.

After serving his country during World War II in the U.S. Army, he attended IWU (Illinois Wesleyan University). He was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.

He then earned degrees in Architecture and Architectural Engineering at the U of I.

Walter began his teaching career in the Architecture Department, where he served as the Chair of the Technology and Practice Division. He is co-author of Construction: Principles, Materials and Methods. This 1,200-page textbook is used in over 250 schools and universities.

He served on the Board of Directors at the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows and was a past chair of the Illinois Architectural Licensing Board. He served as a project architect at Architectural Spectrum.

His passion was education; his last class taught at U of I was December, 2012.

He also participated in the Central Illinois Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. with his grandson, Jordan as his guardian in 2012. This was one of numerous highlights in his life.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to Cunningham Children’s Home, 1301 N. Cunningham Ave., Urbana, 61801, CISAR Animal Shelter, 29738 E. 1400 N Road, Colfax, IL 61728, and Three Wet Dogs, 1948 CR 400 N, Longview, IL 61852.

Heath and Vaughn Funeral Home, 201 N. Elm, Champaign, is assisting with arrangements.

Please visit www.HeathandVaughn.com to offer condolences to the Lewis family.



Condolence for Family of Walter H. Lewis

Walter, your presence will be sorely missed at our bi-weekly East Central AIA Chapter “Lunch and Learn” ’s which you organized and lead for many years and where you asked many penetrating questions of the presenters. We never got to have our final private luncheon. I will remember our educational learning trip to the Marvin Window and Door Company in Warroad, Minnesota.

I know you will be missed by your wife, Mary, and your children and grandchildren. You often spoke with fond memories of your Anniversary Cruise with many of them. My sincerest condolences to your family members.

Melvyn A. Skvarla
Champaign, Illinois


To the Walter Lewis Family,

While scrolling through the recent deaths in the Bloomington-Normal area, I read of the death of Walt, and I thought he might be the person that I remembered from my teaching days at Washington School, Champaign. And yes, he was the person that I remembered.

And who am I? Well, I am Mr. Tucker, Jeff's sixth grade teacher at Washington School in 1969–1970!!! As I read the obituary, I was sorry to read that Jeff had died in 2002. Reading about both Walt's and then Jeff's deaths moved me to send this message.

Why do I remember Walt? He had approached me about perhaps doing something in my classroom. During the spring 1970 student riots on the U of I campus with the architect students raising issues, Walt shared with me that as he drove by the college, he became upset with the students' attitudes and told several that if they really wanted to do some good to get the hell in his car! He and six male architect students then walked into my sixth grade classroom, and in the next few weeks, one of the best architectural student projects emerged and developed with these six guys leading the students. The project was extremely successful, and I recall it as one of the highlights of my elementary teaching years. Though the years have passed, I have always warmly remembered Walt and the confidence and support he gave a young teacher.

As I read Walt's obituary, I was not at all surprised that he still taught up to a year ago. I would have expected no less from that feisty, spirited man. Indeed, he will be missed, and I send my sympathy to his family.

David L. Tucker
Rocky River, OH 44116