Brenda Kay Lewis
- Published: September 15, 2016
Brenda Kay Lewis, of Xenia, passed away Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, at her home. She was 71.
Brenda was born in Mt. Ash, Ky., on July 4, 1945, the daughter of Ulys and Ida (Faulkner) Petrey.
She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers. She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Ronald L. Lewis; children Ronald C. (Amy) Lewis, of Xenia Township, and Christy Lee Lewis (Brendan) Comerford, of Yellow Springs; and six grandchildren Mary Adeline, Fielding, Fisher and Sam Lewis and Cecilia and Ella Comerford.
Brenda graduated from Cumberland College at the age of 19 and began her teaching career with five of her college classmates after being recruited to teach in the area. Brenda and three of those original five classmates had been together since kindergarten, and all taught together for nearly 25 years. She retired from Beavercreek City Schools after 34 years of service teaching every elementary grade except third.
After retiring, Brenda returned for a two-year period as a substitute teacher to help a friend going through chemotherapy keep her job. She also donned “period” clothing and taught at the Collins school house after retirement, where her husband would wake early to fuel the potbelly stove to ensure her classroom would be warm.
She had been a 4-H advisor and enjoyed gardening and canning her vegetables, which she had done every summer since she was a small child. Brenda was a member of the Faith Community United Methodist Church for over 40 years and was instrumental in starting their Vacation Bible School and then teaching in the Sunday School program. She held her private pilot’s license and was a member of the Greene County Airport Authority Board. In 1982, to the shock and amazement of her son, Brenda successfully landed her airplane on one wheel when the landing gear failed without waking her sleeping daughter and family dog who were also aboard.
Brenda was very active politically. She was a longtime committee member of the Greene County Republican Party, serving as chairman for 12 years. She was an elected member of the Ohio Republican Central Committee and served on the Greene County Board of Elections. Brenda was a volunteer and fundraiser for the Cancer and Heart Associations and Literacy Awareness Programs. She was also an avid supporter of classical music. Brenda loved to travel the globe, making numerous trips to her favorite destination, India. Although she enjoyed traveling, her favorite place was her home, where she could spend precious time with her family and grandchildren, who affectionately referred to her as “Mamaw Chicken.”
Funeral services will be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, at Faith Community United Methodist Church in Xenia, with Pastor Rick Tettau officiating. Friends may call from 2 p.m. on Thursday until the time of the service at the church. She will be interred at Glen Forest Cemetery, Yellow Springs. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Yellow Springs High School Library, 201 S. Walnut St., Yellow Springs, OH 45387, in her memory. Online condolences may be made to the family at http://www.mccolaughfuneralhome.com.