Ronald Gene Lewis


Memorial service

Saturday May 11, 2019

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Memorial Park Cemetery

7600 Old Taft Rd, Muskogee, OK 74401

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Celebration of life

Saturday May 11, 2019

12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Muskogee Civic Center

425 Boston Street Muskogee, OK 74401

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Dr. Ronald "Bugsy" Gene Lewis passed on Sunday April 14th at age 77 from the effects of cancer in Columbia, South Carolina. He was a devoted and caring father as well as an activist for his Cherokee community and on behalf of all people of color.
He was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma as a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He was the first American Indian to earn a PhD in Social Work, becoming known as the "Father of American Indian Social Work." He was the first American Indian tenured in the University of Wisconsin system, first American Indian Full Professor in the field of Social Work, and first indigenous person to hold the position of "Dean" in Canada. Dr. Lewis forged new policies to protect American Indian people, especially children, contributing to the creation of the landmark Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.
He joins his mother, Ruby Jean Lewis (Lansford); father, Paul Clifford Lewis; and daughter, Jennifer Ann Lewis in passing. He is survived by his siblings Don Lewis, Bennie Lewis (Malinda), and Paula Webb (Jackie); three daughters, Rhonda Lewis, Courtney Lewis (Christopher), and Melissa Lewis (Joseph); four grandchildren, Elizabeth Morenzoni, Nicholas Morenzoni, Catherine Morenzoni, and Amayi Lewis-Erb.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donating to Cherokee Nation ICWA efforts, Native American Rights Fund, or the Sierra Club.
Published on May 8, 2019
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2 posts

May 14, 2019
As you, his children & siblings, go through this time of sharing sorrow, cherish the love he gave to you, please also know that others join you too in celebrating his "life well lived"!. RGL will always be remembered for his good heart & good mind, his caring & humor, wisdom and commitment to justice, and the honor & respect he felt, & taught, for the Cherokee people & all humanity, the beauty of this Earth , & for his teachings about, and hopes for the enduring "strengths of the American Indian Family."
May 11, 2019
Sorry to hear about the loss of your dear love one. I know your family are going through a difficult time. I hope this scripture at Revelation 21:3,4 brings you comfort knowing that God will end death and we will see our loves in the future. "And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”