Norris Riley Lewis passed away on December 24, 2023 at the age of 82, in Mesa, Arizona. He was born on November 21, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois. Norris will be remembered for his unwavering faith in God.
Norris was preceded in death by his parents Eddie Lewis and Carrie Riley, as well as his brother, Agustus Lewis, and grandson Keith Lewis.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Plezene Wylina Lewis, his high school sweetheart, whom he married on July 6, 1962. He is also survived by his daughters: Tycora “Toy” Scott and Norrine Candy (Derrick) Palmer. He leaves behind 6 grandchildren: Norris Lewis II, Keysha (Douglas) Carlson, Sean Nelson, Gynell (Joshua) Henderson, Sydnei Green and Taylor Scott; as well 8 great grandchildren: Jordan Bevaqua, Tajah Tempest, Ariel Paul, Keiyonnah Lewis, Ka’aliyah Lewis, KeiVonnah Lewis, Jaleiah Nelson and Ariah Carlson. All of whom affectionately called him “Bodad”. He also leaves behind his niece Kelly Lewis Arthur, nephew Morgan Lewis and many cousins.
Norris was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1978 after being contacted at his door and studying the book: ‘The Truth That Leads to Everlasting Life’. What impressed him about Jehovah’s Witnesses was that they endeavor for families to be united in worship of God. As patriarch of his family, Norris was very concerned with keeping his family together and leaving a spiritual legacy for them to follow. He had a passion for studying the Bible and preaching.
He also loved taking his family on road trips when Toy and Candy were young, and he and Plezene had the goal of visiting all 50 states. Many of their road trips were taken in a car that he rebuilt himself. It was not pretty, but it was reliable. Always the jokester, Norris duct-taped the word ‘OUCH’ onto the dented car. From then on, neighbors and family referred to it as ‘The Ouch Car’. Their favorite family trip was when they went to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, then chartered a small plane from there to Nassau, Bahamas. In addition to the road trips, he and Plezene loved traveling internationally and taking cruises with friends and family.
Norris worked for many years as an electrician and loved working with his hands. He volunteered much of his time working on Kingdom Hall construction crews and he even taught his trade to others.
He enjoyed encouraging and helping others in any way he could, whether physically or spiritually.
He spent the last hours of his life doing what he loved most: joking with family and friends, discussing his faith, and preaching. He was glad to discuss his hope for the future and reason for his beliefs, with the hospital staff, many of whom later remarked that he was a ‘man of great faith’.
A memorial service will be held on February 10, 2024 at 3:00pm Arizona Time (2:00pm Central) at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses located at 6263 E Brown Rd, Mesa, AZ 85205.