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Mr. James Wallace Lewis

LINCOLNTON, Ga. - Mr. James Wallace Lewis, 78, entered into rest on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at Wills Memorial Hospital, Washington.

Mr. Lewis played rhythm guitar and sang for over 50 years, and was one of the founding members of the Lewis Family, the first family of gospel bluegrass music. He was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1992, Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame, International Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Honor in 2006 and American Federation of Musician's. Mr. Lewis was also a member of Hephzibah Baptist Church , Woodman of the World and was a Master Mason for more than 50 years in Masonic Lodge 354. He was proclaimed Georgia Outstanding Citizen by Secretary of State Max Cleland in August of 1987.

Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Betty B. Lewis; daughter, Karen L Saggus and husband, Tommy of Washington; two sons, Travis Lewis and wife, Karen of Lincolnton and Keith Lewis and wife, Dawn of Dearing; three sisters, Miggie Lewis, Polly L. Copsey and Janis L. Phillips, all of Lincolnton; three brothers, Calvin Esley Lewis of Hephzibah, Talmadge Lewis of Evans and Little Roy Lewis of Lincolnton; eight grandchildren, Jameson Lewis, Cameron Lewis, Angelyn Lewis, Amanda Lewis, Tom Saggus, Brannon Saggus, Donald Saggus and Ashlyn Lewis.

Mr. Lewis was preceded in death by his parents, James "Pop" Roy Lewis and Pauline "Mom" Holloway Lewis; brother, Mosley Lewis.

The funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 19, 2007 at Hephzibah Baptist Church with Rev. Allen Danner and Mr. Edward McCurry officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery.

Pallbearers were Dr. Edward McCurry, Fred Painter, Earl Phillips, Lewis Phillips, Alan Quarles and Don Rierson. Honorary pallbearer was Jimmy Deason.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lewis Family Homestead Restoration, 2429 Washington Hwy., Lincolnton, Ga. 30817.

Rees Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Web posted on Thursday, May 24, 2007

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