Ira Donald Lewis, 90, North Manchester formerly of Claypool, Indiana, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on January 1, 2023, at Timbercrest Healthcare Center in North Manchester. Born near Claypool, Indiana, on February 3, 1932, Ira was the son of the late Elbert F. and Laura (Blocher) Lewis.
After graduating from Silver Lake High School in 1950, Ira joined the United States Navy, where he served proudly in the Korean War. His time in the service took him to Pearl Harbor, Japan, Korea, Antarctica, Canada, and other islands around the world first as a mechanic and later as a diver. Most notably, Ira dove in the Arctic to recover a satellite that had been lost. He was grateful for his time in the military and the lifelong skills he learned there. Even after his honorable discharge, Ira supported the military and joined the American Legion.
After returning from the service, Ira began dating Nancy Ball. The two fell in love and were married on February 9, 1958. During their nearly sixty-five years of marriage, Ira and Nancy were blessed with six children, Donald “Don”, Robert “Bob”, Sue, Kelly, Scott, and Ira Jay. While raising six children wasn’t always easy, Ira worked hard to provide the best life for all of them. He worked for OmniSource in Fort Wayne as a foreman and mechanic for thirty-seven years. He also owned a few small businesses, Wabash Transfer in Wabash, Lewis Garage in South Whitley, and a salvage yard in North Manchester. However, Ira’s true passion was farming. For most of his life, he left his fulltime job and went home to get on the tractor and work until dark or beyond. He viewed farming as a way to ensure a bright future for his children, while teaching each of them the value of honest, hard work.
While Ira worked tirelessly Monday through Saturday, Sunday was made for worshiping the good Lord and being with family. He and his family worshiped at Manchester Bible Church in North Manchester for over forty years. Ira’s love for family and Christ was a constant in his adventurous life. He left a legacy of never quitting and believed no matter how rough things got, there were always better days to come. Ira enjoyed spending time outside in the woods. He often cut wood all day, so he and his adult children had enough wood to heat their homes for the winter. He was willing to do anything for anyone, including animals. Ira loved caring for cats and often tamed them for his children and grandchildren to pet.
The loving memory of Ira Donald Lewis will be forever cherished by his wife, Nancy Lewis, North Manchester; sons, Donald A “Don” (Sherry) Lewis, Robert S. “Bob” Lewis, Scott A. Lewis, all of North Manchester, and Ira Jay Lewis, Claypool; daughters, Sue A. (Matt) Baker, Claypool, and Kelly L. McKee, North Manchester; grandchildren, Christine Lewis, Tiffany Lewis, Abby (Troy) Martin, Justin (Jordan) Lewis, Mattie (Caleb Bandow) McKee, and Ira Drake Lewis; three great-grandchildren, with one on the way; brother, Elbert “Bud” (Ethel) Lewis, North Manchester; and sisters, Patricia “Pat” Brunk, West Alexandria, Ohio, Margaret (Ralph) Montel, Warsaw, Dorothy (Lee) Marvel, Phoenix, Arizona, and Phyllis (John) Gove, Spring Hill, Florida. Ira was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Harold Lewis; and sisters, Esther Wrightsman, Lydia Wilson, and Helen Lewis.
Family and friends may call Friday, January 6, 2023, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at McKee Mortuary, 1401 State Road 114 West, North Manchester. Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 7, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. with calling beginning at 9:30 a.m. at McKee Mortuary. Pastor Lane Lingofelter, Pastor Terry Bradford, and Pastor Jeff Lewis will officiate. Burial will be at Oaklawn Cemetery, 600 Beckley Street, North Manchester.
For those who wish to honor the memory of Ira Donald Lewis, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105 or Shriners Hospitals for Children 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, Florida 33607.
The family of Ira Lewis has entrusted McKee Mortuary with care and final arrangements
Services for Ira D. Lewis, 90, North Manchester formerly of Claypool, Indiana were Saturday morning at McKee Mortuary, North Manchester. Pastor Lane Lingofelter, Pastor Terry Bradford, and Pastor Jeff Lewis officiated. Burial was in Oaklawn Cemetery, North Manchester. Amazing Grace was presented on bagpipes by Jim Wehner. Military rites were conducted by the United States Navy and American Legion Post #286 of North Manchester. Pallbearers were Bob Lewis, Scott Lewis, Ira Jay Lewis, Don Lewis, Ira Drake Lewis, Justin Lewis, Matt Baker, Mike McKee, Troy Martin, and Caleb Bandow.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Shriners Hospitals for Children
2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa FL 33607