STRUTHERS, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Leroy “Lee” Lewis, 78, passed away peacefully Thursday, June 18, at Briarfield at Ashley Circle in Austintown.
Lee was born February 7, 1943, in Youngstown and was a son of the late Everett R. and Sophie Kotick Lewis.
He graduated from Struthers High School in 1962 and attended Fort Scott Junior College, where he was later recruited for football, transferring to the University of Miami in Florida in December of 1964. While playing for the Hurricanes he earned All-Time Letterwinner honors, received the Most Valuable Lineman Award in 1965 under head coach, Charlie Tate and played in the Orange Bowl. Lee still holds two defensive records in football for the Hurricanes.
After graduating from The University of Miami, Lee taught mechanical drawing at Struthers High School and also was an assistant defensive football coach under head coach, Bob Cummings. Lee was dedicated to Struthers High School and later continued coaching alongside of head coach, John Santillo.
In 1974, Lee suffered a life-changing, traumatic car accident being hit head-on by an impaired driver. Doctors informed his family that Lee would not have lived if it wasn’t for his zest for life and how strong and healthy his body was. Due to the toll exacted by the aftermath of the accident, Lee had to retire from teaching.
Lee was an avid racquetball and handball player and also a Struthers High School Alumni Hall of Fame inductee.
He was an owner/operator of J&L Gas Grills & Fireplace with his brother, Jim and later of Lewis’ Grill and Fireplace Shoppe in Youngstown.
Lee is survived by his children, Donald (Lina) Lewis of Canfield, Daniel Lewis of Poland, Denise (Dr. James) Collins of Arizona and Douglas Lewis of Poland; his former wife and mother of his children, Sylvia Shobar Lewis of Poland; his second wife, Patricia Morell of Boardman; his siblings, Cliff (Cathy) of Powell, Wilma Moody of Nevada, Shirley (Ron) Martin of Struthers and Monica Geidner of Struthers; five grandchildren, Christopher Lewis, Samantha Collins, Rachael Collins, Alexandra Collins and Nanette Collins and many nieces and nephews.
A brother, James Lewis; a sister, Hester Jane Kirner; a sister-in-law, Joanne Lewis and brothers-in-law, Lou Moody and Milan Kirner; preceded Lee in death.
Private services will take place Friday, June 25, 2021, at Kinnick Funeral Home, 477 N. Meridian Road, Youngstown.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Struthers Gridiron Club in Lee’s name.
A television tribute will air Friday, June 25 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV.