W. Sheldon Lewis Jr., 95, passed away in his sleep on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at his home in Algonquin, Illinois. Sheldon, the older of two children, was born October 19, 1924 to Walter and Evelyn Lewis in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. He graduated Robbinsdale High School with honors in 1941.
At the end of his sophomore year at the University of Minnesota, Sheldon and his high school buddies enlisted in May 1943 in the U.S. military during WWII. He served as 1stLieutenant in the U.S. Army in the Philippines. Upon returning home in August of 1946, Sheldon, as an inactive reservist, volunteered for the American Legion while continuing his undergraduate education.
While dancing at the Marigold Ballroom in Minneapolis, Sheldon met his beautiful bride and wife of 72 ½ years, Elaine M. Halverson. They were married August 30, 1947 at Como Park Lutheran Church in St. Paul. In July, 1948, Sheldon graduated from the University of Minnesota, ranking fourth in his class with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management and took the position of accounting manager with Dayton Company. Soon afterwards Sheldon and Elaine began their family with the birth of a daughter in January, 1949 and a son in September, 1950.
Sheldon was called back into active duty in October, 1950 to lead troops during the Korean War. During the conflict, Sheldon earned the Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery and actions beyond the call of duty at Bloody Ridge and Heartbreak Ridge. In 1952, he returned home to his family and position at Dayton Company. Four years later, Sheldon accepted a position at Remington Rand Univac as a systems analyst, a position that led to his transfer to their New York City office in 1959. By that time, his family had grown to number six.
While living in Stanford, Connecticut, Sheldon’s family grew to number eight. In 1961, Sheldon accepted a position as assistant comptroller and was eventually promoted to corporate systems manager with Booz Allen Management Consultants. His promotion led the family back to the Midwest in 1972. The family settled in Arlington Heights, Illinois for twenty-seven years before his retirement to Rockford, Illinois. Sheldon spent his last working years as the assistant comptroller of Midland Finance.
Throughout his high school, college, and military years, Sheldon played coronet and bugle in orchestras and bands. Besides spending time coaching baseball and running in races with his sons, Sheldon enjoyed cross-country skiing, climbing mountains in Colorado, acting and singing in musicals, soloing in church choirs, and teaching his children how to dance, garden, and play bridge and cribbage. Sheldon volunteered for many years for Lutheran churches and for Frontier Days Festival every summer.
Sheldon is survived by his wife, Elaine; daughter Patricia (Jim) McClean; his sons John (Kathy) Lewis, Jim Lewis, Paul (Tori) Lewis, Mark (Karin) Lewis; son-in-law Jim Martin; 23 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; one great-great grandchild; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Sheldon was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Joyce, and his daughter, Anne Martin.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, February 29 from 5pm to 9pm with the Funeral Service at 6pm at Symonds Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park Street, Elgin, Illinois 60120. Military burial will be at Fort Snelling, Minneapolis, Minnesota at 1pm on Monday, March 2, 2020. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Wounded Warrior Project and Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church in Huntley, Illinois.