Donald F. Lewis

Donald F. Lewis

AKA: Mr. Grumpy

Born: June 17, 1937 – Passed: Dec. 19, 2020

Parents: Earl L. Lewis and Margaret Jennie Paul (Both deceased)

Although Donald had an unassuming demeanor, he left behind a legacy of accomplishments, many for which he was never recognized.

A man with remarkable work ethics, Don worked for 29 years in the Tin Mill at Kaiser Steel until it closed. He then went on to work for the Fontana School District in the Custodial Department before finally retiring after 12 years and becoming involved with service to his community.

He received an honorable discharge after serving four years in the Army National Guard.

In the late 1960s, he was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America with the “Order of the Arrow.”

In the 1960s to 1980s, Don was a charter member of the Land Rovers Jeep Club. Besides the recreational purpose of the group, it functioned as a rescue unit during the flood seasons.

The CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Team) was a program he actively participated in and was disappointed when it was no longer sponsored by the Police Department.

Don served a term as president of the Fontana Exchange Club and was deeply involved by way of that organization’s activities. He spent more than 20 years and countless hours helping coordinate the Annual Fontana Days Festival and Parade and Annual Fontana Christmas Parades.

While involved for more than 15 years with the Fontana Historical Society, he was largely responsible for the restoration of the Pepper Street Museum. Later he recruited the “Helping Hands,” a group from the LDS Church, and encouraged Society members to get involved with protecting our heritage.

He is responsible for manually creating the concrete markers in the Fontana Memorial Rose Garden.

In 2008, Don was recognized as the True Community Hero at the L.A. County Fair for his contributions to the community of Fontana and was honored to be the grand marshal of the Fontana Days Parade that same year.

He was a member of Fontana Masonic Lodge #653.

Although of Scot/Irish descent, Don was accepted for honorary membership in the Joanne Coccia Lodge, Sons of Italy, Fontana.

Don embraced the fellowship of the Fontana Community Church, where he enjoyed the fellowship, musical offerings and loving acceptance into the small congregation.

He suffered several debilitating health issues over his adult life: After a freak accident in 1964, he was burned over 75 percent of his body, which took him more than 9 months to recover.

An acoustic neuroma left him profoundly deaf in his right ear.

He endured a series of radiation treatments for both the neuroma and prostate cancer.

An accident in the Steel Mill resulted in a severe leg injury, which he refused to let him down.

Don leaves behind his beloved wife of 60 years, Tonia (Toni) Lewis, son Michael, daughters Kim Lewis-Hoyt, Kelley Thomas (John), six grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

Services are pending.