Dale Maclyn Lewis, 89, of South Haven, passed away peacefully on September 5, 2020. He was born at home in New Era Michigan to Leonard and Ruth Lewis on February 2, 1931. He grew up working on the family dairy farm. He graduated from Shelby High School in 1949 where he was an excellent student and athlete. He lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track. He received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State College in 1953. After graduating from Michigan State he served his country in the United States Army as a Lieutenant in the 82nd Airborne Division as a paratrooper and tank commander at Fort Bragg and Fort Knox. He was hired as a FFA teacher by South Haven Public Schools in 1955 where he taught for 43 years, most of those years as a guidance counselor and woodshop teacher. In the summers he taught Drivers Education. He was a fixture as the official timer for football and basketball games for decades. He earned his master’s degree in education from Western Michigan University. In 1984 he founded Lewis Mini Storage, Inc. and was active in running that business until recent years.
Dale married Olga Pristupa on June 23, 1956. They met at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting while at Michigan State. They were married for 61 years until her passing in 2017. Together they had four sons.
His life’s foundation was his faith in Jesus Christ. Dale was a pillar of Hope Reformed Church. He was ordained as a Deacon and Elder and chaired the church property committee. He led the completion of the church’s parsonage in the 1960’s and the completion of the main church building in the 70’s. If there was any work that was needed to be done, he would be there along with those he drafted into service.
Community service was a very important part of his life. He served as chairman of the City of South Haven Zoning Board of Appeals for many years before being elected to the City Council. He was elected and served as Mayor from 2002 to 2006 where he was instrumental in many initiatives that improved the community. He was active in Kiwanis and Rotary Club and was on the Berrien Teachers Credit Union Board of Directors, now Honor Credit Union. He was well known as an expert in parliamentary procedure and Robert’s Rules of Order.
Much of his spare time was spent with woodworking, handyman projects, and building in general. There are untold numbers of homes in South Haven that benefited from his handiwork including the homes he helped build with Habitat for Humanity. He loved golf and was a long time member of South Haven Country Club. After retiring from teaching he was a volunteer Rules Official for the Golf Association of Michigan and served on their Board of Governors.
He was preceded in passing by his parents, his brothers Lowell Lewis and Douglas Lewis, his sister Betty Weber, and his beloved wife Olga.
He is survived by his four sons, Dennis Lewis of South Haven, Jeffery (Lita) Lewis of South Haven, Bryan (Carol) Lewis of South Haven, and Kenneth (Nichole) Lewis of Grandville; seven grandchildren, Jaime (Steve) Hatfield, Samantha Ruth Lewis, Benjamin (Marguerite) Lewis, Timothy (Anna) Lewis, Andrew (Caitlin) Lewis, Katelyn Lewis and Cameron Lewis; and two great-grandchildren, JD and Helaina Rose.
Visitation will be held from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at the Filbrandt Family Funeral Home in South Haven. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 3:00 PM at Hope Reformed Church with Pastor Steve Smallegan officiating. Dale will be laid to rest at Lakeview Cemetery in South Haven. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Dale Lewis Memorial Fund at Hope Reformed Church or to Habitat for Humanity of Van Buren County.
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The family is being helped by the Filbrandt Family Funeral Home in South Haven, 637-0333
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