Lt. Col. (Ret.) Edgar Vandeuran Lewis of Atlanta, passed May 2, 2020. Graveside service will be held on Monday, May 11, 2020 at Greenwood Cemetery, 1173 Cascade Circle, SW, with Rev. Dr. Kevin R. Murriel, officiating. Viewing for Col. Lewis will be on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at our chapel from 12 noon until 5 p.m.
Edgar Vandeuran Lewis was born to Rev. James A. Lewis and Elizabeth F. Lewis on December
5, 1929 in Bluefield, West Virginia, the oldest son of eight siblings. He graduated from Byrd
Prillerman High School in Amigo, West Virginia and attended Hampton University, Hampton
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lewis joined the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1949, where he became an
Electronic Specialist, and in 1952 entered aviation cadet training. Graduating as a fighter pilot
and commissioned a Second Lieutenant USAF, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lewis flew F-86, T-33 and, as
pilot-in-command, in the B-47 aircraft. After approximately 3000 flying hours, Lt. Col. (Ret.)
Lewis was assigned to fly the B-52 strategic bomber as pilot-in-command, and he flew more than
200 combat missions in Viet Nam. After 23 years of service, he retired from the United States
Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel.
During his military career, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lewis was the first African American to fly Jet aircraft
with the 94 th , 514th and the 56 th Fighter Interceptor Squadrons. With 8 th Air Force, he was the
first African American to fly as pilot-in-command in the B-52 aircraft. Then Major Lewis, was
featured in the August 1968 special issue of EBONY magazine.
After retiring from the USAF in 1972, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lewis worked for twenty-one years with
the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He served in many positions, including Aviation
Operations Inspector, responsible for the certification of airline pilots; Regional Air
Transportation Resource Specialist; and Assistant Manager of Operations in the Flight Standards
District Office, where he was responsible for reviewing the training programs of the major
airlines in the Southern Region. During this time he was rated as a pilot-in-command on the L-
188 and B-727 aircraft. In addition, he served as FAA liaison to Eastern Airlines during the
modification of its operations. At the time of his retirement from the FAA, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lewis
was serving as Manager of Operations Branch, Southern Region, responsible for the review of all
airline training programs and certifications in the Southern Region.
During his employment with the FAA, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lewis was the first African American to
hold the position of Branch Manager at the Regional Office level. He was also the first African
American to reach the grade level of GM-15.
In 1980, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lewis served as the President of the Atlanta Chapter Tuskegee Airmen,
Inc., and became involved on a ‘speaking circuit’. He visited schools, libraries churches and
other facilities advocating the importance of math and science. He lectured thousands of children
and adults regarding aviation-oriented careers.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lewis was an avid golfer and was a longstanding member of The Atlanta Chapter
of the Pro Duffers USA. His passion for the game was shared with hundreds of young people in
the Southwest Atlanta community through his leadership and significant involvement with the
First Tee Golf Program at John A. White Golf Course.
Always an avid runner, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lewis began competing in marathons in the 1980’s. He
won first place in age group in the Atlanta Half Marathon on two occasions and has medaled
several times, including first place in age group, in the Macon Half Marathon and Peachtree City
15K races. Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lewis was also an avid golfer and bridge player.
God led Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lewis to Cascade United Methodist Church, where he was a very active
member of the Veterans Ministry. Additionally, he enjoyed partnering with Pastor Kevin Murriel
on various church initiatives. Prior to joining Cascade, he served faithfully on the Senior Usher
Board, Trustee Board and chaired various other committees at Friendship Baptist Church
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lewis leaves to mourn his siblings, Novada M. Wiley, Joseph F. Lewis, Sidney P.
Lewis and Thaddeus L. Lewis (Wife-Beverly). Preceding him in death were James. A. Lewis,
Naomi Lewis and Juanita O Pearson.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lewis was married to the late Tommie Butler Lewis. They have three children,
Sandra Page, Walter Lewis, and Mark Lewis (Wife-Felicia), four grandchildren (Aaron Page,
Jason Page (Wife-Rasheedah), McKenzie Lewis and Kennedy Lewis, and two great
grandchildren (Jaidon Page and Kaia Page). Lt. Col. (Ret.) leaves to mourn a host of nieces,
nephews, cousins and special family friends.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lewis departed this life on May 2, 2020 and now walks with our Father God,
enjoying peace that surpasses all understanding.
Please join us virtually for the Graveside Services of Edgar V. Lewis to be held on Monday,
May 11, 2020 at 11:00 am. This service will be recorded and streamed live. Thank you for
the love and support at this most difficult time.
Please see the link below:
Expressions of sympathy can be sent to:
The Lewis Family at 3296 Walnut Ridge, Atlanta, GA 30349
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