Lewis Wilson was born on Nov. 22, 1939, to Lewis Wilson Sr. and his wife Anna in Kemmerer, Wyo. Lewis was blessed with two older sisters, Joann and Betty.
They were a very tight-knit family and had to learn how to get by with only the bare essentials, as money was very tight after his father left the family in California for work in Wyoming. Eventually the marriage broke up and Lewis and his sisters did the best they could to help the family get by while Mom (Anna) was holding down several jobs too.
Lewis’ mother soon met a man, Bill Meysercough, who took the family as his own and immediately set about making life a whole lot better for everyone. Lewis learned a lot about what it meant to be a responsible man from Bill. Bill was also very smart with money and repairing things and loyal, above all else, to this new family. Lewis always had the utmost respect for the man and his teachings.
Lewis attended and graduated from Narbonne High School in Lomita, Calif. He graduated in 1958 and immediately left California for Wyoming, a place he had grown to love while visiting his father and grandmother and cousins. Upon his arrival in Wyoming, he and his cousin Bob quickly became running mates and the stories are still being told today about their adventures hunting and fishing and sowing a few wild oats. Lewis and Bob were lifelong friends and fishing partners up until Lewis was just not able to go anymore.
Upon Lewis’s arrival in Big Piney, his eye immediately turned to a pretty young girl named Bette Virostko. A romance was struck up, and the young couple was married Dec. 30, 1958. The couple had three sons Daniel, Donnie and David. As the family was being built, Lewis had begun welding with his father and had become very proficient at it, being in high demand for the oil rigs that were operating in the area at that time, but this kept him away a lot and he was missing his boys grow up so, to settle down a little bit, Lewis took a welding job for Northwest Pipeline Co., where he was soon a lead welder. While employed at Northwest, he met another lifelong friend, Kenny Camis. The two were both highly skilled welders and grew to do a lot together both at work and leisure. Lewis considered Bob and Kenny his two best friends in world and would do anything for them and they for him.
Lewis soon found that he did not like the corporate structure of a large company and, about the same time, his father- and mother-in-law, Paul and Jimmy Virostko, were looking to start retiring from the local store Burney and Co. Bette had already been working in the store for a number of years and the two decided to manage and later own the store. Together, they worked side by side for over 30 years there until they retired in 2010.
Lewis’ retirement was something he “highly recommended.” He loved to just be leisurely and spent a lot of time at his cabin on Middle Piney and chasing lake trout in all the local lakes. His last year of fishing, he was able to put three lakers over 15 pounds in the boat. The disease he had took a lot of his strength, but he would fight the fish as long as he could, and then Bob would help him get it to the top where we could all look at its size, then release it to catch another day.
Lewis’ greatest pleasures in life were the love of his life, Bette, watching his boys grow to be men, and the people he met and interacted with. He loved to watch and be a part of all his grandchildrens’ lives and encouraged them any way he could.
Lewis is preceded in death by his mother and father and beloved wife of 58 years, Bette.
He was so lonely for her after her death in June 2016 that the cancer that was plaguing his body just ran rampant. He fought the best fight he could fight but in the end gave up this life to be reunited with her.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, April 19, at 2 p.m. at the Marbleton Senior Center.