Lewis Wayne Flowers, 100, passed away Friday, September 27, 2019 in Fort Worth.
Funeral service: 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at Winscott Road Funeral Home, 1001 Winscott Road, Benbrook, Texas 76126. Burial: Cleburne Memorial Cemetery, Cleburne, Texas, following his funeral service.
Lew was born in 1919 near Wills Point, Texas to Oliver Kendrick Flowers (1877) and Ruby Lee Sinclair Flowers (1898). They moved frequently being the son of a country school teacher/principal. Residences included: Mexia, Watkins, Denton, Dallas, Fort McKavett, Bedford, then West Liberty where he entered 1st grade! His elementary schools continued to McKinney, Greenfield, and Shep, all in Texas. At the age of 14, they moved to Cleburne where he remained for grades 7-12. After graduation from Cleburne High School in 1937, Lew worked various jobs during the Depression: picked cotton, paper route, golf caddy, plucked turkeys, grocery store clerk, selling face cream with his Grandmother Baker and a Duncan coffee delivery truck driver.
In December 1940, Lew married his high school sweetheart, Helen Jean Collins, of Mexia and only had days as a married couple before Lew enlisted in the Army Air Corp in January 1941. After training as a B-25 crew chief/mechanic, he was assigned to an anti-submarine unit in Puerto Rico. Not getting any leave during WWII for 3 years, his marriage failed, then he returned to the states staying with the Army Air Corp. His next assignment was to McCook Air Base, Nebraska where he met and married Helen Marie Dike in 1944. His career took them to Deming, New Mexico, then Austin, Texas where Jane L. was born in September 1946, and then to Tacoma, Washington, where Michael L. was born in September 1948.
Now in the newly formed U.S. Air Force, Lew was assigned to San Angelo, where he was promoted to Warrant Officer. Follow on assignments included Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, then Altus AFB, Oklahoma after he switched to the Atlas missile career field. Advancing through the ranks to Chief Warrant Officer (CWO-4) rather quickly, Lew was assigned to the general's staff at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana with the 2nd Air Force. After several distinguished years, Lew retired after 28 years in 1967. The very next day, Lew was hired as an instructor at the Alabama Institute of Aviation Technology in Ozark, Alabama. He taught propulsion, structures, welding, etc., then began flight instruction.
Lew lived in Ozark for 35 years being a pillar of the community. He served as a deacon, taught many future airline pilots how to fly and taught his daughter, Jane how to fly. He was involved in many charities and enjoyed playing golf and tennis. He was a FAA evaluator for many years, serving well into his 80's. His wife, Helen passed away in October 2010 after almost 65 years of marriage. Soon after, Lew's eyesight began to deteriorate with Macular Degeneration.
Longing for his Cleburne roots and with several family members living in Fort Worth, Lew made the decision to move back to Texas in May 2012, staying at assisted living facilities: The Vantage and Sunrise Senior Living. He never missed a birthday party from age 94 through 100, enjoying his pecan pie. He was also a regular at the church services, either at Benbrook First Baptist Church or those services provided where he lived. He made several day trips to visit his childhood memories explaining family history.
Lew was a class act from birth to death ... decent, honorable, patriotic, loyal, respected. So, early Friday morning, Lew left this earth, mission complete, well done good and faithful servant ... enjoy your eternal home with your Creator and Savior, where life goes on forever.
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