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Faces of COVID: Beloved father, uncle and brother remembered for his free spirit

Jeff Lewis left an impact before he died.
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Posted at 4:47 PM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 16:47:04-05

Jeff Lewis was a lover of nature, simplicity, and his family. He lost his battle to COVID-19 at the start of 2021. He was 66 years old.

“He was always very outgoing and well-liked. Had a lot of friends,” said Deborah Donahue, Lewis’ younger sister.

Lewis is described by his family as a simple man with a free spirit. He spent a lot of time exploring nature and working with his hands.

“He loved the outdoors, loved to hunt arrowheads. Just a phenomenal taxidermist, welder, all kinds of things. He was also an excellent artist,” said Donahue.

“He wasn’t about material things. I never saw him drive a car. He lived in Noblesville and walked everywhere in Noblesville,” said Nicole Mildenberger, Lewis’ niece.

Lewis was known for his self-taught wisdom and the impact he left on both his children and his grandchildren.

“He was a very intelligent guy. Very good with kids. Kids were just drawn to him and he was always a teacher to my kids,” said Amber Biggs of her Uncle, “Before he was passing my son said, well just tell him thank you. My son is an amazing artist and he credits all of that to his uncle because he always expressed a love of nature and drew pictures for my son when he was little. And he was always a great influence on my kids.”

Lewis suffered from COPD and was being cared for in an assisted living facility when he contracted COVID-19. He was transferred to a hospital for treatment but it was too late, he never recovered. The 66-year-old passed away on January 3rd, 2021. Only his daughter and one grandson made it to the hospital in time to say goodbye.

His family is devastated that his exceptional life was cut short so abruptly. They’re left wishing for more moments and more memories with their beloved uncle, brother, and father.

“If you just looked at him you would think he’s just a common man but he was very extraordinary in the sense that he was intelligent, talented, simple, loving and that’s why it’s so devastating how he ended up passed away. It was just unbelievable,” said Donahue.

“It puts everything that has happened in the last year in perspective because no matter how big-hearted you are, or how empathetic you are, or how many times you watch someone’s family members crying because they couldn’t see them when they were going, they couldn’t see them when they were sick… you don’t really comprehend that devastation until it happens to you,” said Biggs.