Clifton Glenn Lewis Jr.
September 8, 1937 – March 15, 2020
Clifton “Cliff” Glenn Lewis Jr. passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Louisville, KY, with family at his side. Cliff was born in Louisville on Sept. 8, 1937, and was a proud 1956 graduate of Valley High School in the Louisville suburb of Valley Station. Cliff earned both his Bachelor of Science (1961) and Master of Arts (1963) in education from his beloved Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green (Go, Hilltoppers!). He dedicated his entire professional career of over 30 years to the fine students of the Jefferson County public school system, first as a teacher of mechanical drafting and later as a guidance counselor. Cliff believed deeply in the value of a high-quality public education for all.
Cliff was dedicated to his family and his churchwork. He was a founding minister of Community of Christ in Valley Station, where he served as pastor for many years. He was never happier than when he was in service to his congregation, followed closely by when he was in service to his immediate and extensive family, including in-laws, whom he held with the same intimacy as blood relatives. Everyone felt in Cliff’s presence as if they were just plain family. He was a “Hey, come sit with me.” kind of kin.
When Cliff began his career at Louisville’s Western High School, he also served as its men’s tennis coach, which continued his great love for the sport. His players achieved great things with his support, or so he said – often. Later in life, Cliff looked forward to his weekly Saturday morning tennis matches with dear friends Dave and Jim and special cousin Alan.
Cliff is preceded in death by his mother, Beulah Marie (Oliver) Lewis, and his father, Clifton Glenn Lewis Sr. He is survived by his wife and trusted partner of 59 years, Nellie Blanche (Lowman) Lewis, and his children, Michael and Lori, as well as Lori’s Italian Greyhound, Ivy, whom Cliff loved so dearly. Cliff also is preceded in death by his dear cousin, Shirley, and survived by closely held cousins Alan, Betty, Bob, Charles, Cheryl, Jacile, Janice and Lisa. As an only child, Cliff thought of his cousins more as siblings, and he loved the daylights out of them.
During Cliff’s career in public education, he served as president of the Jefferson County Teachers Association (1974-75) and later, while working at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, was named the JCTA Counselor of the Year, a source of great pride for him. Much like his father, Cliff never met a stranger who didn’t quickly become a friend. Much like his mother, Cliff cared about family, caregiving for all, and meals enjoyed as an extended family. In 1971, Cliff published a resource book for tennis coaches called the Premier Tennis Scorebook, which still circulates in its second edition. He loved after-church lunches with in-laws Ruth and Richard, bowling in earlier years with his friends the Hoaglands and Purvises and many others, and fellowshipping with the many, many friends who claimed Cliff as a buddy, meal-mate, confidante, compatriot and role model.
Cliff Lewis leaves behind a legacy of love, known especially by his immediate family, many cousins and other relatives, and even more friends, with whom he has shared a meal, a joke, a hug, a lifetime of goodwill and good counsel. Cliff’s favorite scripture came from the Christian Testament, James 1:22: “Be not just hearers of the Word, but doers also.”
Cliff Lewis lived his life working diligently to be a doer of the Word. (Funeral services are private. A larger memorial service will be held later in the summer. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made either to HealthEd Connect (www.healthedconnect.org) or Community of Christ in Louisville (https://louisville.kyincofchrist.com/).)
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Clifton Glenn Lewis Jr.
March 22, 2020
Nellie and family,
I have never read an obituary that I thought was more true than Cliff's. I had the privilege of working with Cliff at Western High School. Our classrooms were next to each other. I haven't seen Cliff for a long, long time but I always considered him a good friend.
May he rest in peace.
March 21, 2020
You will be missed Cliff. We loved you so much, and you were an awesome basketball dad and driver, for Lori, myself, and Stephanie. You always made us laugh and took the time to just listen.
I last saw him about a year ago when I had lunch with my parents at Marks Feed Store, the Layne Elementary retirees...
He and my dad had good conversation, even though neither one were well due to failing health. But I still remember that smile, and it was great to see him.
God Bless and you are all in my prayers. Nellie, Michael, Lori, and Furbaby Ivy
March 20, 2020
Nellie, I’m so sorry for your loss. Cliff always made me feel so welcome and loved. I know he will be greatly missed. ❤️
Pamela Grant Burton
March 19, 2020
Nellie, I was very sad to hear that Cliff passed. The Grant Family was always so fond of him and you. It was an honor that he said a prayer for my Mother at her funeral in 2016. They both loved tennis and she was so proud when she could talk with him about her favorite players ♥️ Also, my sister, Rhonda and Cliff shared the same birthday 9/8th. Please know you are in our prayers and your memories will carry you through your grief. Love from the John and Gloria Grant Family ♥️
March 19, 2020
Nellie, Michael, and Lori,
We are so sorry for your loss, Cliff was a family favorite always thinking of others before himself.
His humor was infectious and we will always have fond memories of attending Reds/ Cardinals games during the summer.
Most importantly his faith in Jesus was a model for us all to follow. We will miss him dearly at our traditional family functions.
Brett, Sheri, Mason, and Sidney