Cover photo for Lillian Ruth Lewis's Obituary
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1929 Lillian 2024

Lillian Ruth Lewis

April 15, 1929 — March 10, 2024

Mahtomedi, Minnesota

Lillian Ruth Lewis (aka “Pie”) died on March 10, 2024, just a month shy of her 95th birthday. Born to Hugh John and Alice Rebecca (Sharp) McCartney in Cresson, PA in April of 1929, Lillian was #10 of 11 children; 9 girls and 2 boys. She is preceded in death by her parents and husband of 69 years, Cdr. Jesse W. Lewis Jr. Lillian was the last of the “Originals,” as her generation was called by family members. She is survived by her children Jeff (Mary), Muriel Reeve, Wyeth (Mary Jo), LaVerne (Larry) McGrail, Jon (Anne), and Jim (Heiti); 12 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren.
As a child, Lillian was the apple of her mother’s eye. Her mom called her “Lambie Pie” and “Pie” stuck for the rest of her life. Early in the Great Depression, the family of 12 lost their home. They found a large empty, somewhat rundown home across town. Upon discovery, the bank required $15/mo rent or the family would be homeless once again. Some years later, now with 11 children, they scratched together a $300 down payment and bought the home before the bank sold it out from under them. Decades later, they discovered that the “homestead” was originally built by Andrew Carnegie, the steel baron from Pittsburg, to be his retreat “cabin” in the mountains. The home remains in the family to this day.
After graduation from high school, Lillian joined several sisters living and working in Washington D.C. She got a job in J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI as an administrative clerk. Soon after, while on a date with one guy, Lillian met a dashing young sailor named Jesse - the man of her dreams - who was on a date with Lillian’s sister! They were married about a year later. And the other guy married Lillian’s sister and became her dear brother-in-law. Those were heady times in post-war Washington D.C.! When she left the FBI, Lillian received a letter of appreciation signed by Director Hoover himself.
Lillian and Jesse married in 1950 and embarked on the life of a military family in a time of war. By 1965, Lillian had survived 7 pregnancies, delivered 6 babies, and was commanding officer of a squadron of 6 hellions, while Jesse made his way through the ranks, became a Navy pilot and skippered his own squadron in San Diego, CA. Lillian made everything happen by keeping the growing family’s domestic life on track through 14 household moves, Jess’ training, and several deployments. Lillian was a tender but firm mother, no time for nonsense. The kids all believed she could see around corners.
Family was important to Lillian. Her family and her siblings’ families, many of whom were also in the military and scattered across the globe, attended annual family reunions at the homestead in PA starting in 1961 and continuing for 60 years. Lillian had 49 nieces and nephews just on her side of the family tree. Those reunions were such fun! She competed on a bowling team for a while and even won a trophy for converting a 7-10 split! She also loved to sing, joining Sweet Adelines for many years, a mostly a cappella barbershop style performance group of women.
Her neighbors on Hobe Lane were the dearest of friends. Over 45 years, Lillian and Jess evolved from the doers of the neighborhood to the esteemed elders. They loved the full-moon pontoon parties on Bald Eagle Lake. In their later years, they really appreciated the love and support of the Hobe neighborhood and their family of faith at St. Jude of the Lake Catholic parish in Mahtomedi.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Jude of the Lake at 11am, Tuesday, April 9, 2024, with visitation one hour prior to Mass. 
Lillian will be inurned with Jesse at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are preferred to St. Jude of the Lake School at https://giving.parishsoft.com/app/giving/stjudeofthelake and selecting the “Angel Fund” for school scholarships or a fund of your choice
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lillian Ruth Lewis, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Jude of the Lake Catholic Church

700 Mahtomedi Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55115

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Mass

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

St. Jude of the Lake Catholic Church

700 Mahtomedi Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55115

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