H.C. “Kit” Lewis, Jr., of Welch, WV, affectionately known as “Grandad” to many family and friends passed away peacefully at home on the morning of August 9, 2020. He was born May 8, 1930, in Charleston, WV. Kit graduated Welch High School in 1948. He married his high school sweetheart, Jo Ann (Poe) Lewis aka “Grandmom,” and they had five children together over 73 years of marriage. Kit attended WVU and Concord before returning home to manage the family business, H.C. Lewis Oil Company.
Kit served on Welch City Council. He was elected three times and served 12 years as Clerk of the McDowell County Commission and served several years as Chairman of the Board for MCNB Banks. Kit served as President of the Welch Lions Club and was a member of the organization for more than 50 years. He was also a Shriner and York Rite Mason for more than 50 years, a 32nd Degree Master Mason, a Kentucky Colonel and a charter member, past President and board member of the West Virginia Petroleum Marketer’s Association. Kit was inducted into the McDowell County Sports Hall of Fame. He was a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Welch.
Kit is survived by his wife, Jo Ann (Poe) Lewis; his sons and their spouses: H. C. “Kibby” Lewis, III, and Debbie (Lester) Lewis; R.D. “Bobby” Lewis and DeeDee (Smith) Lewis; C.L. “Lenny” Lewis and Mary (Marino) Lewis; and his daughter, Debbie (Lewis) Lawson. His youngest daughter, Terri Lynn (Lewis) Byrd passed away from a car accident in 1978 at twenty-two (22) years of age. He was very proud of his grandchildren and their families: Mike and Renee (Arnold) Lowery and their children, Tara and Brooke Lowery; H.C. “Bucky” Lewis, IV, and his son, Zac Lewis; Derek and Carrie Ann (Lewis) Fowler and Madisen Renee Burns; Robert Carson Lewis (deceased); K.D. and Asleigh (Turner) Burdette and their children, Eva and Brody Burdette; Will and Sara (Ro) Turner; Lyndsey Turner; Tony and Sosha (Yokosuk) Lewis and their daughter, Conley Lewis; Brent and Lynn (Lewis) Kessler and their children, Maya and Anna Kessler; Jason and Tracie (Lewis) Evans and their children, Roselyn and Gia Evans; Justin and Rachel (Lewis) Rice and their child, Sonya Rice; Eric Joyce and Shelley Lawson and their child, Jayceon; Ashley Lawson and Mick Ward and their children, Zalen and Bria Ward; Ryan Lewis Lawson and his children, Caleb Lawson and Emmalynn Albright.
Grandad’s official last words were “I love you, Grandmom,” to which Grandmom responded, “I love you too, Grandad.”
The family would like to thank all the doctors, nurses, EMTs, and other care providers who helped care for Kit during his last days. Special thanks to his loyal, lifelong friend, Frank Cooley, and family for their dedication and help over the years.
In lieu of flowers and consistent with his last wishes, donations can be made to the McDowell County Humane Society, Box 714, Welch, WV 24801; the McDowell County Public Library, 90 Howard Street, Welch, WV 24801; or your preferred charity.
The family will plan a memorial service at a later date due to COVID-19.