H. Richard Lewis, 80, of Scotia, NY, passed away peacefully at Ellis Hospital on February 6, 2019 with his family by his side.
Born on February 23, 1938 in Schenectady, NY, he was the son of the late Harold F. and Gertrude (Disch) Lewis. Rich graduated from Scotia High School - class of 1955, Union College - class of 1959, and Albany Law School - class of 1962, and lived in Scotia his entire life.
He clerked at Borst, Smith & O'Loughlin in Schenectady during law school and worked for the firm upon graduation. Rich practiced law in Schenectady for over 50 years. The law firms of which he was a part included O'Loughlin, Lewis, Lynch & Harrigan; Lewis, Kaehler, Bates & Angle; and Lewis, Kaehler, Bates, Angle & Cioffi. His law partners changed over time, but his love for the law and dedication to his clients was unwavering.
During a portion of his private practice career, Rich also served as the Town of Glenville's attorney. Rich was active in politics, being elected as the Town of Glenville representative to the Schenectady County Board of Representatives (now known as the Schenectady County Legislature) and, following his father's footsteps, ultimately serving as the Board's Chairman, as well as being a delegate to the 1976 Republican National Convention. Rich gave back to his community in many ways, as Chair of the Schenectady County Industrial Development Agency, President of the Schenectady County Chamber of Commerce, President of the Schenectady County Bar Association, President of the Schenectady Wintersports Club and instructor at the Schenectady Dog Training Club. Rich was a successful track athlete, winning the prestigious Eddy Meet (1 mile) his senior year in high school and competing in the Millrose Games (1 mile) while in college. He was an avid runner, skier, canoer, gardener, fisherman, boater and hunter.
Rich is survived by his wife of 56 years, Linda (Shineman) Lewis; children, Sarah Lewis Belcher and her husband, Earl V. Belcher, Jr. of Albany, NY, and Evan Richard Lewis and his wife, Heather (Jones)Lewis of Seattle, WA; granddaughter, Amelia Katherine Lewis; brother-in-law, David Shineman and his wife, Ernestine (Ernie) (Hawkins) Shineman; nieces, Katherine Albers and Rachel (Albers) Diamond; nephews, W. Lewis Albers, David Albers, David (Skip) Shineman and Scott Shineman; and devoted dog, Cody. He was predeceased by his sister, Stephanie L. Albers.
Funeral services will be private for the immediate family.
A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, February 16, 2 p.m. at Bekkering Ellis Funeral Home, 1 Mohawk Avenue, Scotia, NY.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Rich's memory to the Schenectady Dog Training Club, 823 Gower Road, Scotia, NY 12302, Schenectady County Bar Association, P.O. Box 1728, Schenectady, NY 12301 or the Animal Protective Foundation, 53 Maple Avenue, Glenville, NY 12302.
Schenectady Dog Training Club
823 Gower Road, Scotia NY 12302
Schenectady County Bar Association
P.O. Box 1728, Schenectady NY 12301
Animal Protective Foundation
53 Maple Avenue, Scotia NY 12302