The Obit For Rodney Lewis

Rodney Neil Lewis

From the Nowata (OK) Star - August 3, 2011

Funeral services for Rodney Neil Lewis of Lewisville, Texas, were conducted in the Lewisville Bible Church.

Interment followed on July 2, 2011 in the Memorial Cemetery in Nowata (Oklahoma).

He was born on April 25, 1923 in Clinton [Oklahoma] to John and Anna Lewis. He died June 28, 2011. He moved to Nowata as a youngster. His father worked on an oil company lease east of Nowata and his mom worked for several years at Landers Grocery.

He attended high school and played basketball, and in the summer played amateur ball in the Ben Johnson League, which won the national championship in 1942. He married his wife of 64 years, Louise "Tommy" Skimmerhorn [sic] Lewis.

He was approached by the Red Socks (Sox) but the war interrupted his dreams of playing professional ball.

He was among the first to land on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. He was a staff sergeant with a special task force called Dog Green in the 148th Engineers, whose assignment was to blow a gap in mines and obstructions placed to stop the landing. They accomplished their task in 22 minutes, as their fellow soldiers fell all around them. But he survived and fought through the Battle of the Bulge and into Berlin, disarming mines, building roads or on his belly in the mud or snow, resisting German counterattacks.

After the war, he resumed his quest to play professional baseball and was hitting over 300 regularly when he was told he would be called up to play for the Red Socks (Sox), but he developed a hamstring injury, which would not heal.

He walked away from baseball and soon found out God had a more important game for him. 

He found himself fighting another war through the jungles of Brazil, where he and his wife fought malaria, dysentery and every kind of jungle beast, along with fear at entering villages to minister where a white man had never been seen before.

Malaria forced them out of the jungle and into the small town of Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil. There and in the village of Tepequem, Roraima, Brazil, they finished their 35 years in Brazil, with eight years in the jungle.

Before his death, he was honored in the Lewisvile newsaper and interviewed by a Dallas radio station when he was a guest at the World Series (2010).

His hometown can be proud of Lewis who fought gallantly for his country and his Savior.