CHAMPAIGN — David R. Lewis died at home on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, on his 12 acres of land about 40 miles east of Kansas City, Mo., surrounded by family. With David were his beloved wife, the coveted Laura, Laura’s sister Pam, his editor and close friend Ulva Eldridge, and Jethro the Wonder Dog. Many family and friends visited or called in his last days and enjoyed David’s courageous humor and love.
“Louie” was born in 1947 and raised by his grandparents, Ruthie and Doc, in a small house right off Route 47 near downtown Mahomet. He had a semi-idyllic childhood hunting with his grandfather, playing in the Sangamon River and enjoying the wonders of nature that life in a small town provided in those days.
David later worked for School Music Service in Champaign, and in the mid- to late 1960s played saxophone and keyboards in several local bands, including the Rising Sons, the Ice Blue Secret, Lothar and the Handpeople, and the W.C. Fields in clubs such as the Red Lion Inn and Chances R.
Moving on from music, Louie became a Champaign police officer for several years, met and married his beloved wife Laura, and then moved on to other regions of the country, where he became (in no specific order) a ranch hand, a cowboy, a radio deejay, a performer of radio-television commercial copy and an award-winning author of 23 books of fiction and nonfiction, mostly detective mysteries, self-revelatory insights and — most notably — the “Trail Series” of Old West fiction, featuring his favorite characters Marshal Ruben Beeler and his friends Marion Daniels and Homer Poteet, all available through Amazon.com or Openbookaudio.com.
Above all, David considered himself a teller of stories. Supported through hospice, he died a peaceful death from kidney disease and leukemia, secure in the knowledge he was going to a better place. He is greatly missed.