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Robert Moss Lewis, Jr

Robert Moss Lewis, Jr

Male 1909 - 1985  (76 years)  Submit Photo / DocumentSubmit Photo / Document    Has 4 ancestors and 6 descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name Robert Moss Lewis 
    Suffix Jr 
    Birth 16 Mar 1909  Lewiston, Cache, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Initiatory (LDS) 5 Dec 1969  LOGAN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    FamilySearch ID KWCP-9NG 
    Death 6 Jul 1985  Preston, Franklin, Idaho, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Burial Preston Cemetery, Franklin, Idaho, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Person ID I273  mytree
    Last Modified 25 Feb 2024 

    Father Robert Moss Lewis,   b. 28 Jul 1890, Lewiston, Cache, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 2 May 1909, Lewiston, Cache, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 18 years) 
    Mother Effie Dean Woolley,   b. 27 Jun 1892, Alton, Kane, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 18 Dec 1980, Preston, Franklin, Idaho, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 88 years) 
    Marriage 17 Jul 1908  Logan, Cache, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F288  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Carmen Benson,   b. 4 Nov 1911, Preston, Franklin, Idaho, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 17 Aug 2001, Preston, Franklin, Idaho, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 89 years) 
    Marriage 13 Sep 1936  Preston, Franklin, Idaho, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Ann Lewis,   b. 20 Dec 1937, Preston, Franklin, Idaho, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 7 Aug 2016, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 78 years)
     2. Colleen Lewis
     3. Robert Moss Lewis, III
     4. Harold Benson Lewis
     5. Carmen Lynne Lewis
     6. Elizabeth Lewis
    Family ID F98  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 2 Jun 2024 

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 16 Mar 1909 - Lewiston, Cache, Utah, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - 13 Sep 1936 - Preston, Franklin, Idaho, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsInitiatory (LDS) - 5 Dec 1969 - LOGAN Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - 6 Jul 1985 - Preston, Franklin, Idaho, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBurial - - Preston Cemetery, Franklin, Idaho, United States Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Carmen Benson - R Moss Lewis and Ann Lewis
    Carmen Benson - R Moss Lewis and Ann Lewis
    Lewis, Robert M b1909 - Portrait
    Lewis, Robert M b1909 - Portrait

    Lewis, Robert Moss and Benson, Carmen
    Lewis, Robert Moss and Benson, Carmen

  • Notes 
    • Robert Moss Lewis, was born in Lewiston, Utah on March 16, 1909. His par e nts were 18-year-old Robert Moss Lewis (the first in what would becom e se veral generations with that name) and 16-year-old Effie Dean Woolley . Tw o months after my father’s birth, his father died of a ruptured appe ndix . Years later, grandmother would remarry, but my father would remai n he r only child.

      As dad’s mother was just a child herself, she invested little of her ti m e and energies in being his mother. Therefore, dad was passed from on e re lative to another as he was growing up with little in the way of a s tabl e permanent home. My impression from the stories I’ve been told by m y mot her (dad never spoke to me of this period in his life) was that h e didn’ t receive much attention or the best of care. As an example, whe n he wa s 6 years old, he fell from his grandmother’s porch breaking hi s left elb ow. It was some time until he was taken to the doctor to hav e the arm set . As a result, his arm was frozen in a straightened positio n. Ultimately , the doctors had to re-break the arm and set it at a 90° a ngle. His ar m was frozen in that position for the rest of his life. Fort unately, it w as his left arm and he still had use of one good arm. You c an imagine ho w difficult it was for him to farm with just one arm. I ca n never remembe r my father wearing a short sleeve shirt. He was always s elf-conscious o f his left arm in that there was absolutely no muscle bet ween the shoulde r and the elbow, just a bone covered with skin.

      Dad was uncomfortable with gifts and holidays because he never receive d g ifts as a child. He told mother that he only remembered receiving on e gif t as a little boy, a toy horn one Christmas when he was 6 years old . Hi s grandmother took it away from him before the day ended because h e was m aking too much noise. Dad was never very good at buying present s or at c elebrating holidays. He left those things exclusively to my mot her. In fa ct, I can never remember my father buying a toy or present fo r anyone unt il very late in his life. In his last years, he used to bu y gifts for m y mother, which always surprised her.

      When dad was a kid, he was often self-conscious about not having any mon e y at all in his pockets. His friends said that dad would mysteriousl y di sappear if they were ever going to buy a treat or a soda. He would d rop b ack behind the group and then slip away because he had no money. H e use d to walk with his head down because he was always searching for st ray co ins along the sidewalk or path.

      Dad worked at odd jobs from the time he was a little boy in order to t r y to earn spending money. When I was growing up, he always made sure th a t my siblings and I had an allowance and a little bit of money with u s wh enever we left the house even though we were very poor.

      Dad dropped out of high school when he was about 16 years old. He ha d a v ariety of jobs, some of which seem quite surprising and unusual i f you kn ew my dad. For example, for some brief period of time dad ra n a restauran t. (I really can’t imagine it but apparently he did.)

      Dad developed addictions as a teenager. He started smoking when he was a b out 15 and smoked 2 or 3 packs of cigarettes a day until he turned 60 . H e also started to drink in his teens and had a drinking problem for m os t of his life. Fortunately, he didn't drink every day, at least not af te r he married my mother. Instead, he would go several months (sometime s a s much as a year) without having any drink at all. Then, all of a sud den , he would disappear for 2 or 3 days binge drinking .

      In spite of his failings, dad was a great father. He was unfailingly ki n d and patient with his children. I can never remember dad yelling at m e o r spanking me. And, unlike his mother, he was always there for us . I hav e come to believe that the Lord judges our performance in this li fe relat ive to what we have been given. My dad grew up without a famil y and, whil e he had his problems, he was always faithful to his family a nd there fo r us. He never attended any of my school or church activities , but I alwa ys knew that he loved me and in that, he never let me down . That is far m ore than he received from any of his family when he was g rowing up. So , I believe, he was a resounding success as a father in th e Lord’s eyes . He certainly was in my eyes.

      When I was growing up, we farmed the 120 acres that dad owned, plus anot h er 120 acres that he rented. On the 240 acres of farmland, we raised a t l east 100 acres of alfalfa hay every year. We harvested 3 crops of alf alf a each year. The harvesting of the hay required firstly that it be mo wed , then bailed 3 or 4 days later after it had dried in the wind row, a nd , finally, loaded onto wagons and hauled into the hay yard where it wa s s tored for the winter.

      Since we owned a dairy farm, it was imperative that we have top grade h a y for our dairy cows. This required cutting the hay at precisely the ri gh t time, getting it bailed before it got rained on or before it got to o dr y, and storing it in an area where it could be protected. All of ou r far m was flat, with the exception of one field on the northeast corne r of th e rented property. That corner of the farm was very steep and w e flood ir rigated it. Because of the steepness and the use of flood irri gation, i t was always possible that gullies would develop in that field.

      One year when I was about 16 years old, I was just completing the mowi n g of our first crop of hay. It took about 3 days to mow all of the ha y wi th our John Deere tractor. Since the John Deere was the only tracto r tha t we owned that we could use for mowing and bailing, we worked it 1 6 to 1 8 hours a day while we were mowing and bailing hay. As I was goin g to th e last field to complete the mowing of our hay (the steep northea st corne r of the farm), dad told me that he had seen gofer holes in th e ditch ban k that had led to the erosion of steep gullies in the field . As a result , he asked me not to cut the 2 or 3 steepest acres of hay i n the norther n end of the field.

      As I started mowing, I complied with my father’s instructions. However , a s I completed the southern end of the field I couldn’t help noticin g tha t the thickest, best hay was along the northern portion of the fiel d. Rec ognizing the danger of hitting a deep gully, yet wanting to harves t all o f the hay I could, I decided to cut that portion of the field tha t dad ha d warned me to avoid. I put my tractor in first gear so I was mo ving ver y slowly. I stood as I drove so I could try to see the ground an d avoid a ny holes. The hay was so tall, thick, and tangled that it was i mpossibl e to see the ground.

      The John Deere tractor was a tricycle model, meaning that there were 2 r e ar wheels and only one front wheel. As I was slowly driving across th e st eep part of the field cutting the hay, my tractor suddenly fell forw ard a nd I heard a tremendous crack. The whole wheel assembly had falle n int o a deep hole and the forward momentum of the tractor sheared the a ssembl y from the tractor frame. I had had many accidents working with eq uipmen t but nothing could compare to the damage I had done to the tracto r.

      As I stood on the tractor, I looked out over the farm and saw over 100 a c res of hay drying in the wind row. I knew the hay would start to deteri or ate in the morning if I wasn’t up early bailing it with my John Deere . Ob viously, the John Deere would be out of service for a very long time . I c ouldn’t believe what a horrible mistake I had made. Then, I saw dad ’s pic kup truck driving through a lower field toward me. It must’ve bee n obviou s from the pitch of the tractor what had happened. I got off th e tracto r and started to walk toward my father. I don’t remember ever fe eling s o sad, embarrassed, and heartsick as I did at that moment.
      As dad reached the tractor, he got out of the pickup and the only thin g h e asked me was if I was okay. Physically, I was, but I had never fel t wor se. As dad surveyed the damage, he never reminded me of his instruc tion s or his warning. He knew that nothing he could say would have mad e me fe el worse than I did at that moment. I am sure he also knew tha t I would n ever again disobey him when he gave me that kind of counsel . So, all he d id was set to work to dig the tractor out of the whole, an d find a way t o load it on the truck to take it to town to be repaired.

      It took us a day or 2 to find a replacement tractor to rent. By that tim e , some of the hay had dried to the point where it had diminished in val ue . The combination of the cost of renting a replacement tractor, the co s t of repairing the John Deere, and the loss in value of the hay was a t er rific expense to my father. But, he knew how terrible I felt and neve r ch astised me for my terrible mistake .

      While dad was far from a perfect man, he was the most perfectly kind m a n I have ever known.

      In the fall of 1969, Benson wrote to dad and told him that he intende d t o get married upon his return from his mission. He asked dad if he wo ul d get himself ready and go to the temple for Benson’s wedding, and als o t o be sealed to the family. When dad received that request from Benso n, a t the age of 60 dad stopped smoking cold turkey. I will always remem ber t he 3 or 4 weeks while dad was recovering from smoking. It seemed t o me th at his skin had turned a pale gray. It must’ve been incredibly pa inful, b ut he just stopped. And, he never smoked or drank again for th e remainin g 16 years of his life. When Benson returned from his missio n later tha t fall, dad and the whole family went with Benson to the temp le to be sea led.

      Having made a commitment to come back to church, dad became an active me m ber of the church for the first time in his adult life. He was give n a ch urch calling – – – the gospel doctrine teacher (much to my mother’ s horro r). In the following years, dad served faithfully in the church t eachin g his unique version of the gospel of Jesus Christ, much of whic h had bee n conveyed to him by his “colorful” mother and his less than st ellar frie nds. Naturally, my mother was supportive; however, she was ver y nervous . Before church each Sunday, mother would take a Valium to hel p her get t hrough the Gospel doctrine class. I understand the class wa s quite a hi t because no one, especially mom, knew what dad was going t o say next.

      Dad was an unfailingly kind, pleasant person. He had many quirks. One th a t I recall was his determination not to change our clocks to daylight s av ings each spring. So, for 6 months out of the year, dad operated o n a sch edule that was one hour different than the rest of humanity in th e Mounta in Time Zone. In his defense, it didn’t seem to matter to the co ws. I’v e always thought it was dad’s way of “putting it to the man”.

      My father always really loved my mother. And, while there were many tim e s that my father disappointed my mother, I am confident that she love d hi m as well. Dad was seriously injured in an automobile accident in Oc tober , 1983. For the next 21 months, dad was in and out of hospitals bef ore hi s death in July 1985. During that time, my mother was his unfailin g compa nion and caregiver. It seemed to me that for the first time in hi s life d ad really needed someone to care for him, and someone was ther e to do it . It was during that period that the love between my parents d eepened, an d I believe that the Celestial bond was sealed .

      I have no doubt that their marriage has been sealed and that they wil l b e sweethearts throughout the eternities. It is a remarkable thing t o cons ider what the 2 of them went through to get to that point. When th ey marr ied, Dad was ill prepared to be the kind of husband that my mothe r expect ed and deserved. She struggled with his inability to communicate , his add ictions, and the great poverty in which they lived for the firs t 33 year s of their marriage. He, on the other hand, struggled to fulfil l her expe ctations, having never experienced the love and closeness requ ired of a s uccessful marriage relationship. It is a tremendous credit t o both of the m that neither of them ever gave up, and, at the end of the ir lives, the y loved each other more than they had ever known or expecte d.