Robert Walker Lewis, 65, born and raised in Oak Park, died in early January 2015 in Peru, Illinois.
Public education was not available for Bob when he was growing up, so he attended Seguin School, in Berwyn, which was parent-organized and funded. He loved school and being a Boy Scout. His favorite sports were swimming and bowling.
Bob competed in Special Olympic for many years. He was an avid, lifelong Batman fan. In his early 30s, he moved to LaSalle to be near his sister, Nancy, and to live under the care and guidance of Horizon House. His seven housemates became a second family to him. Wherever Bob was, his love of life and his winning smile were contagious. He will be truly missed, but his legacy of love will live on.
Born in an era when doctors routinely recommended babies with Down Syndrome be institutionalized at birth, his parents instead welcomed him into the family with open arms and hearts. As an integral part of the family, Bob taught his sisters some of life’s most important lessons, such as the meaning of unconditional love and the belief that every person has unique gifts to offer the world and is deserving of respect. These lessons have been passed on to the next generation and we know his legacy will be long-lasting.
A funeral service/celebration of life was held for Bob Lewis in Peru. His ashes were laid to rest at a second memorial service on his birthday last week in the family burial plot at Mount Emblem Cemetery in Elmhurst. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert O. and Maurine S. Lewis. His family surrounded him with love his entire life and his sisters kept vigil by his side in his final days.
He is survived by Linda Hallmann (the late Tom), Cindy Jirkovsky (Bill) of Forest Park, Nancy Lewis (Bill Peabody), Peggy Gillespie (Paul) and many nieces and nephews.
Contributions in his memory may be sent to UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago, 3100 S. Central Ave., Cicero, IL 60804 or Thumbuddy Special, P.O. Box 145, Downers Grove, IL 60515.