James Kent Lewis

Published 10:56 am Monday, June 6, 2016

James Kent Lewis, age 78, died at home on Saturday, May 28, 2016.

He was born in Battle Creek, Mich. in 1937. He went to high school in Hawaii, Hong Kong and Tokyo, then college in Tokyo, Arizona State and graduated from San Jose State in 1961 with a degree in photojournalism.

In the early sixties, he became the first environmental journalist for the St. Petersburg Times, received the first Mark Ethridge Scholarship at Duke University and was the science editor for the Honolulu Advertiser.

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In 1968, he moved his family to Tallahassee where he held many different offices in state government, writing the first environmental laws for Florida. After he retired, he moved to North Carolina where he resided with his wife of 56 years, Jacquelin Hirth Lewis.

He was an accomplished, guitarist, banjoist, auto harpist and singer. He was a Master Gardener and Bonsai enthusiast.

He is survived by his wife, Jackie; a son, Kent Weston Lewis of Durham, N.C.; and daughter, Elisabeth Lewis Foronda of St. Pete Beach, Fla. He had three grandchildren, Calvin, Henri and Jacqui Foronda and two great grandchildren, Melinda and Marcello Foronda, also from St. Pete Beach.

His passing will leave a void in the lives of those who loved him. A celebration of his life will be held later in June. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Foothills Humane Society Inc., 989 Little Mountain Road Columbus, NC 27822 or Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, 130 Forest Glen Drive, Columbus, NC 27822.

Submitted by Leisa Foronda