Word has been received locally of the death of former Jackson resident, Marilyn Lewis, who died at the age of 83 on Dec. 24, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she had lived for many years with her surviving husband, Dean Lewis.
Dean Lewis was a graduate of Jackson High School and the son of the late Denver Lewis of near Jackson and the nephew of long-time Jackson furniture store owner, Marion C. Lewis. Marilyn, on the other hand, was not from Jackson County, but she met Dean when he was in college and they were married in 1956. She earned a degree in Education and taught English, speech and drama during her working career.
Mr. Lewis enjoyed an accomplished career as a radio/television news anchor and talk-show host and he and Marilyn worked and raised a family while living in Columbus, New York City, St. Louis, and Tulsa. He later retired from the media and entered the real estate profession as an investor and a broker of commercial properties. He was the president of the Dean Lewis Real Estate, Inc. in Tulsa from 1981 through 1998.
The Lewises also lived in Jackson on South Street for several years in the 1970s when Mr. Lewis owned and operated an automobile dealership in Jackson. There are three surviving children: a son, Michael Lewis; and two daughters: Teri Overton and Kathy Lewis.
A memorial service for Marilyn Lewis is scheduled for 3 p.m. today (Saturday, Jan. 7) at the Floral Haven Chapel in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. A reception is to immediately follow at the Family Center at Floral Haven. There will be no related memorial functions in Jackson.
Marilyn's family requested that donations in her memory may be made to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
On a much happier note, congratulations go out to Hamden's Jim Beckner, who observed his 38th anniversary as Hamden fire chief several months ago. Prior to that appointment, he had already served the department for 10 years as a firefighter. Beckner has presided over a very professional small-town department, which not only has raised much of the money it needs to operate but has also stayed very connected to and supportive of the community it serves.
Beckner addressed his long years of service on the Hamden Fire Department's Facebook page by thanking all those who had supported him and the department. In part, he wrote: "I have been privileged to serve as Fire Chief of the finest bunch of firefighters any chief could wish for ... that contribute so much to the department and community and are always willing to step up, no matter what is asked of them." In his message, Beckner also expressed gratitude to his understanding family and to the citizens of Hamden and the leaders of the village government for their ongoing support.
Beckner concluded: "While it has been a pleasure serving as fire chief, I know the day will come when it will be someone else's turn to have this honor. I'm not quite sure when that will be, but I do know someone will step up and fill this old chief's boots just fine. Until that day comes, I will keep working alongside the members of the department to continue to serve the citizens of our area."
Music lovers, take note: The Christ United Methodist Church has a large supply of the CDs entitled "O Holy Night," which features mainly Christmas songs performed by talented Jackson flute player Megan McKee.
The CD is priced at $10 and all proceeds from sales will go toward paying off the debt of the Family Life Center of the Christ United Methodist Church, a modern facility which the church allows to be used for various community events, banquets and meetings as well as its own activities, including the Upward basketball program.
Initially, prospective buyers could order CDs and pick them up later at the church. However, the CDs can now be picked up immediately at the church's office without having to place orders in advance. Regular hours at the church are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and on Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Megan's husband, Matt, previously served as the youth minister at the Christ United Methodist Church before receiving the opportunity late last year to become the new minister of the Albany United Methodist Church. Mr. McKee still works on a part-time basis at Jackson County Broadcasting (The Radio) where his voice can be heard reading the news and weather, doing commercials, and making announcements.