Lowell Lewis passed peacefully Feb. 5, 2013, at 8 p.m. in Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley. He lived in California for all of his 88 years.
A service to commemorate Lowell’s life will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at the First Baptist Church, 1866 Ridge Road in Grass Valley.
He was born in San Bernardino Aug. 27, 1924. Lowell attended schools in Banning, married and started his family in Pomona and moved to Santa Cruz in 1956. It was there that he worked for many years as a city building inspector. He was somehow elected to ride The Giant Dipper each spring before the Beach Boardwalk opened for the season. The cars would be loaded with sand bags and our dad — the one lone rider — to test the reliability of the wooden structure for the summer crowds to follow. Those yearly rides were the only time he ever even thought of riding a roller coaster. He surely has left his mark from San Bernardino to Grass Valley, as he loved to have side projects of restoring or building houses and commercial property. His family was often involved in his projects and would become his working partners to get the job done. For years he was very active in the youth program and choir at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Santa Cruz. It was his tenacity that drove him to each new project and throughout his life. In 1983, he retired with his wife to Grass Valley, and although he was retired, he continued to have a constant array of projects in his life.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Nancy; his three daughters, Linda O’Kay, Wendi Gracey and Bonnie DiMichele (John A.). Lowell has five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, Shauneen Gracey Deschaine (Ty), Kaeleen Gracey, Nikki DiMichele McNelis (Mike), John D. DiMichele, Matt DiMichele, Isabella McNelis and Dominic McNelis.
He is preceded in death by his parents and four siblings, as he was the youngest in their family.
In lieu of flowers, you may make donations to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation.