MADISON - Elizabeth Alice Lewis, age 79, passed away at home on Wednesday morning, Feb. 1, 2012, surrounded by her loving family.
She was born on Feb. 28, 1932, in Brooklyn, N.Y. and was the daughter of Charles St. Clair and Elizabeth (Miller) Thompson. She was united in marriage to Philip Howard Lewis in Ridgewood, N.J. In her last days, she described her husband as the "love of her life and the most interesting person she had ever met."
She received her bachelors degree in biochemistry at Radcliffe University in 1953 where she met her husband of 58 years. She earned her masters degree in plant ecology at UW-Madison while raising a family. She wanted her grandchildren, niece and nephew to understand what you can do with an education and strong will.
She served 26 years on the Dane County Parks Commission and provided years of input to the Parks Committee of the Village of Shorewood Hills. She was an active and passionate member of the League of Woman Voters for over 50 years. She was a founding member of the Friends of the Dane County Parks, a founding member of CRANES, Capital Region Advocacy Network for Environmental Sustainability and a founding member of the Phil Lewis Academy of Sustainable Design. The team of Phil and Elizabeth Lewis provided the vision and spiritual leadership for the preservation of the County's E-way and establishment of the Heritage Center.
Prior to starting a family, Phil and Elizabeth traveled in Europe on bicycles as part of Phil's Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship at Harvard. It was one of many memorable trips around the globe for both work and pleasure.
Elizabeth is survived by her husband, Philip; brother, St. Clair (Monika) Thompson; children, Philip (Amy) Lewis, Andrew (Pam) Lewis and Lisa (Mark Kosikowski) Lewis; grandchildren, Cody Pine, Briana Lewis (Fiancé Brian Allen), Shawn Lewis and Austin Lewis; niece, Caroline Thompson; and nephew Charlie Thompson.
Elizabeth was a member of the Covenant Presbyterian Church and described her faith as, "not being hard, it was just there." In her last remaining days, she said her faith was holding her up like the wings of angels.
A celebration of Elizabeth's life will be held later this year with a more detailed obituary. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Madison Community Foundation where endowments will be established to support the Dane County Parks and Sustainable Design (Please identify your gift as a memorial for Elizabeth Lewis, see: http://www.madisoncommunityfoundation.org ) or the Covenant Presbyterian Church.
Cress Funeral and Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road, Madison
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