Cleo “Cotton Boll” Lewis, 79, lifelong Bartlesville resident, died Saturday in Tulsa.
Cleo or “Cotton Boll” was born the son of Herbert William Lewis and Mary Elizabeth (Marshall) Ivy on Oct. 15, 1938, in Bartlesville. He was raised by his grandmother while his father was serving in WWII. Once his father was back from the service along with his step mother Louise Lewis they lived in Glenoak. He attended Nowata Schools graduating in 1956. Although he never considered himself a veteran like his father Cleo served many years in the Army National Guard. A mutual friend encouraged Cleo to visit Lois Jean Postrach at her home one day. Not long after, they married and lived in Bartlesville, moving to their current home in 1962. Cleo started his 39.5 year career with Reda Pump in 1959 in the foundry retiring as machine maintenance supervisor in 1999.
When Cleo retired at age 60, his only request was for all the grandkids to be dropped off at his house every day. He kept them busy riding bikes and picking blackberries. Cleo was not gifted with good balance so he used a 3 wheeled bicycle. Even though he didn’t ride at the time, in 1984 he saw a unique trike in Caney, KS, so he bought and worked on it a bit. Once he hit the open road, a true rider, he rode year round and in many parades and toy runs over the years, including as Santa Claus in the local toy run on his signature yellow trike for 10 plus years. Cleo and Lois enjoyed trips to Branson and in later years, family gatherings. He never missed the grandkids activities and gave each their own nickname. He loved pitching horseshoes and the outdoors, working hard in his garden and giving away the fruits of his labor to friends and charities like Agape Mission. On his final ride Cleo was doing what he loved - riding and blessing others with vegetables from his garden. He will be dearly missed by his family and all who were fortunate enough to know him.
Cleo is survived by his loving wife Lois of the home, two children, Deborah Jean Mattox; and Edward Lee Lewis and Mary, all of Bartlesville; siblings Leonard “Butch” Lewis and Pam of Sedan, and Karen “Kay” Whitting of Wichita; nine grandchildren, Tommy Keener and Jamie, Tyler Crawford and Crystal Vick, Travis Crawford and Tristina Sutton, Dawson Davis and Victoria, Chance Harper, Ashley Robinson and Ray, Andy Lewis and Amy, Clint Lewis and Tabatha Harlow, and Logan Lewis; and 15 great grandkids, Kacey, Lexi, Noah, Ryan, Tucker, Brelynn, Aydon, Brycen, Dayson, Theresa, Sarah, Annalee, Colton, Payton and Pasley.
Visitation will be held Thur. 10-8, and Fri. 9-12. at the Davis Family Funeral Home – Walker Brown Chapel, 918-333-7665, 4201 Nowata Rd, Bartlesville.
Funeral services will be held 2 pm on Friday, Aug. 24, at New Harmony Baptist Church, with Rev. Lonnie Hoelscher officiating. Interment to follow in the White Rose Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Carter Davis and the Davis Family Funeral Home – Walker Brown Chapel. Online condolences and remembrances may be shared at www.DavisFamilyFuneralHome.com.
Reverend Lonnie Hoelscher