Dennis Wayne “Denny” Lewis, 73, passed away, surrounded by family on Dec. 17, 2021, after a 2 ½-year battle with the devastating disease ALS. Denny faced this time with dignity, grace, positive attitude, laughter and was always smiling.
He was born Sept. 24, 1948, in Winthrop, Washington, to Otis and Dolores “Dee” Lewis.
Denny graduated from Winthrop High School, class of 1966. Following graduation, he became a smokejumper at the North Cascades Smokejumper base in Winthrop. In the off season he attended Western Washington State College, majoring in business. He later became the smokejumper operations and training foreman in LaGrande, Oregon, for all nine years that the base was operational. His commitment to improvement propelled the base to excellence. He is held in high regard of all that worked with him.
With the closing of the LaGrande smokejumper base, Denny declined relocating from LaGrande as he had started putting down roots. It was at this time that he started his 30-year career with UPS. He worked as a delivery driver for numerous years and finished his career as a feeder driver.
Denny, always the athlete, remained very active throughout his adult life. He was a volunteer ski patroller at Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort for 30 years that included both first aid training and ski instruction. Other outdoor interests included mountain biking, road cycling, boating, water skiing and salmon fishing. Travel was also a highly enjoyed adventure. He traveled extensively with Hawaii being a favorite place to spend time.
Denny is survived by his spouse, Dawn, his children, Nathan Lewis and Natalie Lewis, from his previous marriage, and Taryn Lewis. He is also survived by his mother, Dee Olson, brother, Kenny Lewis, and sisters Patti Warren, and Jodie Gatto. Also survived by several grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Celebration of life to be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 4, 2022, at the Union County Fairgrounds, Mt. Emily building in La Grande, Oregon. Friends and family are invited to reminisce with food and drink provided, immediately following.