Celebrating the Life of Andrew Lewis
August 1, 1956 — February 23, 2013
Friends, it is with great sadness that we report the Washington State Sierra Club Chapter Chair, Andrew Lewis, passed away suddenly on February 23, 2013. Andy was a volunteer with the Sierra Club for more than 25 years. In his jubilant way, he brought humor, intelligence, and a powerful voice to many campaigns throughout the years. An avid rafter, his early advocacy work helped lay the groundwork for bipartisan legislation to expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and to protect the Middle Fork, Snoqualmie, and Pratt rivers.
Most recently, Andy played a very visible role in helping to elect U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene and spoke eloquently at the huge coal export hearing in Seattle in December. We want to express our appreciation and gratitude for all that he brought to the Club, and to all around him, through good times and difficult ones.
Below is a YouTube video of remarks that Congresswoman Suzan DelBene delivered on the House Floor honoring and extolling some of Andy's great qualities and contributions to Washington State. All of us who knew Andy miss his grand smile, boisterous voice and robust commentary, along with his wise counsel and dedication. He was one of a kind. It is a tribute to his work, commitment, and how he represented the Sierra Club that his passing is now noted in the Congressional Record:
Andy was a "larger than life" Renaissance man. He graduated from Penn State University with a degree in molecular biology, a degree that would shape his future and enable him to pursue the many things he loved in life. In 1985 he moved to Seattle and soon after became the 62nd employee at Immunex, an up and coming biotech company. At Immunex, Andrew experienced a gratifying and successful career where he became director and then vice-president of science operations.
Andrew was passionate about life. This gentle and humble man supported many causes and gave of both himself and his resources. Andrew's presence and sense of humor could light up a room. He gave his heart and soul to environmental causes and was a multi-term chair of the Washington State Chapter of the Sierra Club. To say he loved the outdoors was an understatement. Whether it was bird watching or camping, Andrew immersed himself in whatever he did, always viewing the world through the eyes of the scientist he was. Andrew's encyclopedic knowledge and curiosity were often transformed into enjoyment: collecting fine wine and minerals, cooking gourmet meals, involving himself in Democratic politics, being a sports fan, supporting education and traveling to the four corners of the world with his wife and son. Andrew started guitar lessons later in life and could spend hours playing and listening to music.
Nothing meant more to Andrew than his wife of 21 years, Maaike Bakker, and their 18-year-old son, Peter Lewis and our heartfelt prayers go out to them. He is also survived by his loving cousins in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and many, many good friends. While his unexpected departure is heartbreaking, Andy’s joyful heart still beats within all of us. We will sorely miss his warmth, his humor, his passion and love for his community.
Letters of condolence can be sent to Andy's family at:
Contributions may be made, in Andrew's name, to the Washington Chapter of the Sierra Club at the above address.
Please share your memories of Andy below.