Edward Patrick Lewy
Commander, United States Coast Guard (Retired)
Launched: February 9, 1930 in Los Angeles, CA
Final Voyage: April 14, 2021
Edward (Lew, Baba Lew, Lewy) was the youngest of six sons born to Bashir and Matilda, Syrian immigrants. Orphaned at age eight, he was sent to Monte Vista Christian Boarding School, later graduating a year early from Kearney High School in 1947. He supported himself through high school by working at a riding stable where he developed a love and respect for horses; Lew learned that hard work and independence were important keys to life.
In `1948, Lew enlisted as a Coast Guard seaman recruit in Long Beach, CA. He was proud of being a “mustang” advancing through the ranks to Commander during his thirty year military career. It was said by many that he was the most “non-military” leader with whom they had ever served. He quietly led by example, earning the respect and admiration of his crew.
In 1952, Lew met a widow, Mary Jean White Hoover, in Long Beach. They married in 1954 just before he was transferred to Hawai’i. Mary already had two sons, Stephen and Timothy: and he readily forged a strong bond with them before welcoming his own son, David, into his new family. During his career the family would call Honolulu Long Beach, Mercer Island (Seattle), Alameda and Long Beach again as home ports. He and Mary retired in 1978 to Issaquah, WA where she passed away in 2000.
Lonely and grieving to reconnect with his high school sweetheart, Kaye Hildegarde Panicke, in 2001; they had first met when they were 14 and 16 at the stable where he worked, and had enjoyed riding together. Searching on the internet, Lew found Kaye living in Wilmington NC. He moved to the East Coast to court her and in 2006 were married in Hillsborough, NC. Lewy and Kaye relocated to Fearrington Village NC to be closer to her children, Mark Hopper of Carrboro, Lauri Langham (David) of Chapel Hill, and Jan Waugh (Ben) of Pittsboro. Lew deeply loved his North Carolina family which include nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Lew leaves behind his wife Kaye, and his West Coast family: David (Deb) of Buckeye, AZ, Steve (Becky) of Brush Prairie, WA, and Eva (Tim’s widow) of Bellevue, WA. Baba Lew was very proud of his five grandsons and thrilled to be blessed with five great-grandchildren, also the Jan Lewy family of Bakersfield, CA.
Lew was the quintessential listener; family members and friends knew they has his undivided, patient, and non-judgmental attention. He offered advice only when asked and it was always tempered with love and understanding. A true officer and gentleman, Lewy was a generous and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who will be greatly missed.
So, Lewy, as you sail away, know that there are those still standing on shore waving and wishing you well as you stay a true course to where the harbor where the seas are still and calm, the winds are warm and gentle…fitting for a man who was likewise calm, warm and gentle.
Hark now, hear the sailors cry, smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly,
into the mystic… Van Morrison
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