Cover photo for Dr. Donald Howard Lewis, Sr.'s Obituary
Dr. Donald Howard Lewis, Sr. Profile Photo
1936 Dr. Donald Howard Lewis, Sr. 2024

Dr. Donald Howard Lewis, Sr.

May 31, 1936 — May 19, 2024

Dr. Donald Howard Lewis Sr., affectionately known as Don, departed this world on May 19th, 2024, at the age of 87. Born on May 31st, 1936, in Rotan, Texas, Don was able to rise up from humble beginnings through the power of education. Don was married to Carolyn Kay Conoley Lewis for 62 years. They met while working at the Brown School for children in Austin, Texas, and married just before Don was deployed to Germany in service to the U.S. Army. During that time working in the medical laboratory, he received a special commendation (Kavalier Der Strasse) for assisting a German motorist.

A lifelong seeker of knowledge, Don earned a BA from the University of Texas at Austin, an MA from Southwest Texas State University, and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. He dedicated 39 years to Texas A&M as a tenured professor of Veterinary Pathobiology, where he conducted significant research in aquatic microbiology, resulting in an immunization method for commercial fisheries. His specialization resulted in travels all over the world, (including China, Israel, and Egypt) to present his research.

Don’s intellectual curiosity extended beyond his field of study to an abiding interest in history, particularly World War II and the Civil War. He also loved music, particularly his years singing with the Brazos Barber Shoppers, and enjoyed painting, wood carving, and working on cars.

His passions were varied and vibrant. The barbershop quartet was a place where he connected with friends and shared stories. He enjoyed tinkering with engines—rebuilding family station wagon’s engine and an old Pickup truck he nicknamed Lazurus because it “rose from the dead”.

Don’s expertise as a pathobiologist led to a remarkable opportunity: he was selected by NASA to study moon dust from the historic Apollo 11 mission, resulting in a commendation certificate. He was proud of the remodeling of a 175-year-old barn in Thorndale, TX , re-named Carolyn Kay Ranch in honor of his wife.

He is survived by his children, Donald Howard Lewis Jr. (Ghislaine), John Malcolm Lewis (Heather), and James Michael Lewis. Don and Carol also had an infant son, David Erwin Lewis, who passed away at 18 months old. He had six grandchildren: Megan Lewis West (Jonathan), Kylan Lewis (Desiree), David Lewis (Katie), Hilton Lewis, Lyle Lewis, and Alina Lewis. Don’s sister, Jackie Noles, also survives him.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse H. and Myrtle M. Lewis, his son David Erwin Lewis, and his wife, Carolyn Kay Lewis.

A memorial service to honor Don’s life will be held later this year, with details to be announced. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the CISD Education Foundation honoring Don’s commitment to education and learning. choosing honorarium gift in the name of Donald H. Lewis Sr.

Donald Howard Lewis Sr. leaves behind a legacy of service, generosity, and boundless curiosity. His spirit will live on in the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to know him.

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