Neil Ray Lewis
Neil Ray, son of Cleo and Gladys (Kading) Lewis, was born July 18, 1949 at Jefferson, Iowa. Neil suddenly and unexpectedly collapsed at home and was taken to Guthrie County Hospital in Guthrie Center, IA. He died there on Monday, November 16, 2015 at the age of 66 years, 3 months and 29 days.
Services were held Saturday, November 21, 2015 at St. Gregory’s Gym, Bayard, Iowa.
The Lewis family lived south of Bayard on the farm. Neil attended Bayard Community High School, graduating in 1967. He was united in marriage with Marcia Kinnick on September 5, 1970, at the United Methodist Church in Bayard. Neil received a football scholarship to Mankato State College in Minnesota and graduated in 1971. He studied Physical Education with a minor in Biology and earned a teaching certificate.
Neil taught and coached high school sports at Plainfield, IA following college. He then moved to Waukee from 1972 to 1978 where he coached football, wrestling, and track. Neil also taught biological sciences and Physical Education for 8th-12th grade. The family then moved to Bayard so that Neil could farm with his father and grandfather. Over three summers prior to the move, Neil built their home south of Bayard. In 1982 he returned to coaching football for Bayard, and subsequently Coon Rapids-Bayard and Guthrie Center high schools. Neil also coached junior high track at Guthrie Center, including some of his daughters, as well as Pee Wee football for his sons. Neil retired from coaching after 20 years in 1993.
Neil’s overriding love and passion was his family. They competed together in the Iowa Games and area road races every year. At one time, Neil held the bench press record for the age group 40+. Neil and his kids were also part of the Lake Panorama Ski Team. He instilled his work ethic and belief in self-sufficiency in his children. As a teenager he worked building homes with his father and grandfather, which gave him the skills to build not only his family home and farm buildings, but three of his children’s homes as well. He also worked on many building projects in Bayard and Guthrie Center. Neil loved to take gator rides with the grandkids, make them his special popcorn, and “sing” with them. He was a technology fanatic and collected various tools and guns.
Neil will be remembered as a loving and caring husband, father, and grandfather. His character was exceptional, and he motivated many people through the years. He was a builder of not only homes, but people as well.
Neil is preceded in death by his parents, brother Dean Lewis, and brother-in-law Bryan Kinnick.
He is survived by his wife Marcia Lewis of Bayard; children: Melissa Lewis (Shane Anderson), Bayard; Jessica Lewis, New York City, NY; Katie Lewis (Reza Kargarzadeh), West Des Moines, IA; Michael Lewis (Natalie), Bayard; Marcus Lewis (Shelby), Bayard; grandchildren: Connor Lewis, Bryce Lewis, Tucker Lewis, Hope Lewis-Kargarzadeh, McKenna Lewis, Easton Lewis, and Ava Lewis; Marcia’s parents: Edward “Buzz” and Colleen Kinnick, Bayard; sister-in-law Cindy Franzeen (Sid), Scranton; brother-in-law Lon Kinnick (Donna), Glidden; sister-in-law Cindy Kinnick, Bayard; many other relatives and dear friends. Arrangements entrusted to Ohde Funeral Home, Bayard, IA.
Condolences may be left for the family at ohdefuneralhome.com