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Kerry F. Lewis

Kerry F. Lewis Kerry Foster Lewis, age 71, of Riley, Kansas, died April 20, 2021, at Stormont Vail Health in Topeka.

He was born March 10, 1950, in Manhattan, the second child of Paul D. and Lois M. (Graves) Lewis. Kerry attended kindergarten at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. On his 10th birthday, Kerry got his first paying job selling newspapers on the street for the Manhattan Mercury. He attended Monsignor Luckey High School, graduating in 1968. While in high school, Kerry delivered papers for the Kansas City Star, sometimes working two or three hours in the morning before going to school. Upon graduation from high school, Kerry attended Wichita State University for two semesters.

After leaving college, he worked in various construction jobs, was a receiving clerk at Derby Food Center at Kansas State University, and also worked for Guerdon Industries mobile home factory.

In 1969, Kerry enlisted in the Naval Reserve and began his active duty in November 1970. He served aboard the USS Duluth (LPD-6), and amphibious transport, which made two deployments to Vietnam (March 1971 and May 1972). During the second deployment, while participating in a beach assault of the coast of Quang Tri Province, the Duluth was the target of enemy fire from North Vietnamese shore batteries which earned Kerry and his shipmates a combat action ribbon. Other ports of call visited by the Duluth while Kerry was a crewmember include the Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

After leaving the Navy, Kerry enrolled in the two-year Drafting Technologies course at Manhattan Area Vocational Technical School, graduating in 1975. During his second year at MATVS, Kerry was hired as a drafter at United Telephone Company in Junction City, Kansas. Eventually moving from Drafting to Continuing Property Records, Kerry visited several communities throughout Kansas, as well as Western Nebraska and Southeastern Wyoming, maintaining an inventory of Central Office Equipment and Outside Plant Facilities. After 33 ½ years and two company name changes (U.T.C to Sprint to Embarq) Kerry retired at the end of 2007.

Kerry enjoyed several interests, which include photography, collecting, drawing on the computer, writing, and playing the guitar (until diabetic nerve damage in his fingertips forced him to give it up). Kerry was active in the Kansas Authors Club, along with his mother, and had entered several writing contests for which he won awards for poetry and short stories.

During his retirement, Kerry was attentive to his mother. He spent every weekend with her, buying her groceries, taking her to the bank and helping her with bills, but mostly, he enjoyed her company. They spent many an afternoon on her front porch, reminiscing about her childhood and places they had lived when Kerry was growing up. For several years he moved in with her and became her primary care giver so that she could stay in the home she had occupied for the last 60 years.

Kerry is survived by his mother Lois M. Lewis of Manhattan; three sisters: Gail Burd of Manhattan, Julia Warner (Jeff) of Strong City, KS, and Frances Lucas (Bruce) of Columbus, OH; eight nieces, one nephew, seven grandnieces and seven grandnephews.

Kerry was preceded in death by his father Paul D. Lewis in 2005, and by his older brother Warren (Tyker) in 1977.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 P.M. Monday, April 26th, at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Chapel with Father Kerry Ninemire officiating. Interment will follow in the Riley Cemetery, Riley, KS.

Online condolences may be left for the family by clicking on "Send Condolences" on this page.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be may made to either the Manhattan Fire Department or the American Diabetes Association. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.

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