John David Lewis

June 7, 1924 ~ August 25, 2015

John David Lewis, of Piney Flats, passed away Tuesday, August 25th at the age of 91. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Elinor Rebecca Milhorn Lewis; children Lisa Lewis, Peter Lewis, and Walter Lewis, all of the Seattle area; step children Kathy Hare and David "Butch" Milhorn, of Piney Flats; and brother Jim Lewis of Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition John is survived by 5 step grandchildren and 12 step great grandchildren. Having grown up on an apple farm in the Hudson Valley cleared by his ancestors nearly 200 years prior, John was a passionate gardener, digging large plots and growing bountiful vegetables throughout his life. John served with distinction in Europe during World War II as a member of the 310th Infantry, receiving commendations for valor as well as earning a Purple Heart. After the war he returned to Cornell University where he earned his degree in chemical engineering in 1948. He married Janet Hanson of Wallace, Idaho and settled in New Jersey, working for several firms before moving to C.E. Lummus. He helped with the design and start-up operations of chemical refineries. His work sent him throughout the US, to East Asia, and to Europe. Two trips were unusual: a months-long sojourn in Korea where he helped start their first-ever fertilizer plant, and a year with his family in Sicily working on a new petroleum refinery. John was awarded numerous patents. John was an outdoorsman, a naturalist expert in the recognition of poison ivy, and a craftsman. Hiking was a particular love, as was model ship building, a life-long hobby started with a ship built from scratch at the age of 8. An article about John's amazing work can be found at His daughter can be reached at [email protected] The family will hold a memorial service celebrating John's life Friday August 28, 2015, at 11 AM in the New Bethel Cemetery, Piney Flats. Dr. Robert Rainwater will officiate. The Boone Dam Post # 4933 and the Tennessee National Guard will accord military honors. Minister, family and friends are requested to meet at the cemetery by 10:50 AM Friday.

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