Long time Canon City resident, Gay N. Lewis, passed away Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at St. Thomas More Hospital of complications from pneumonia. He would have been 96 in May.
Gay was born May 2, 1921 to parents, Ralph and Doris Lewis, in Lamar, Colorado. The family moved to Florence in 1937. Gay married Mildred Lewis (nee Mauller) in 1938. A son, Clark, was born in 1939. Gay lost Mildred, the love of his life, to a massive stroke in 1991, after 53 years of marriage.
Gay is survived by his son, Clark Lewis, daughter-in-law Katie, grandson Doug Lewis (Jeannie), granddaughter, Kerri Riester (Tom), and granddaughter, Julie Kirchner (Troy) and six great-grandchildren, David Lewis, Andrew Riester, Chloe Lewis, Adam Riester, Allison Riester, and Peyton Kirchner.
The family spent 12 years in California between 1940 and 1952, before moving back to Colorado. Gay is a WWII veteran, serving in the Philippines as an Army Combat Engineer and was in Leyte, Philippines when the war ended.
Gay and Mildred moved to Canon City from Pueblo in 1964. Gay worked for a local veterinarian, Jerry Schreiner, for several years. He retired from Portec after eleven years to work fulltime raising his horses.
Gay was a fifty plus year member of the Royal Gorge Rodeo Association (serving two terms as president). He was a volunteer deputy in the Fremont County Sheriff’s Posse, a member of the Cattlemen’s Association, the Rebels, and Silver State Lodge #95 A.F.A.M.
While living in Pueblo, Gay was a founding member of the Colorado Peacemakers – a club based on fast draw competitions (he was second in the state), trick shooting and gun fight shows. He has performed at the Colorado State Fair. He was personal friends with local TV and musical entertainment personalities at the time – Larry Caldwell and Buddy Johnson.
Gay was all cowboy – horses, guns, pick-ups, boots, hats, Wrangler jeans, and snap buttoned Western shirts. He will be remembered for his love of and skills with horses, his sense of humor, his story telling, and love of friends and family.