A Life Lived: John Lewis will be remembered for his laughter and eagerness to help others

Published 11:25 am Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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More than once on the funeral home’s tribute page, friends spoke of John Lewis’ friendliness and helping friends and neighbors. One shared: “John had a contagious laugh and would help anyone.” Another wrote: “John always helped his neighbors, especially the children,” and a third person wrote: “John was always helping others in need. He will always be remembered for his kindness, humor and smile.”
John G. Lewis died Jan. 16 at the age of 81. He was a veteran, a businessman, and a former Carter County Commissioner.
John was one of nine children of Paul Edward and Beulah Lewis of the Carden’s Bluff community. When he graduated from Hampton High School he joined the United States Army, serving in Korea. When he came home from service, he went to Elizabethton Business College and worked for a time at North American Rayon and North Electric and even as a school bus driver in the Hampton area before becoming owner and operator of Hampton Tire Co. He owned his own business for 45 years and was able to help a lot of people.
His wife, Peggy, said John’s first love was politics. “He was a politician, for sure, and enjoyed helping people not only in his district, but in surrounding districts. He was loving known as the ‘Mayor of Hampton,’” she shared.
He took his commission duties serious, never missing a meeting. And, Peggy usually attended the meetings with him. They were a couple for 47 years and had three daughters, Kim, and twins, Joni Kaye and Juli Renee. In addition, they had four grandchildren and one step-grandson.
“John enjoyed his family, especially his grandchildren. He often strolled them through the neighborhood. He also enjoyed riding his 4-wheeler, fishing, and hiking. He was an outdoorsman, for sure,” said Peggy.
His wife said John enjoyed gardening and would often plow for people. “He would help anyone do anything,” she said. She noted that when he had the tire business, he made a lot of deliveries, and he enjoyed meeting and talking with his customers. “He just had a knack for talking. He was friendly and never got in a hurry. He made time for people,” Peggy said.
John also enjoyed church. He was a long-time member of Victory Baptist Church, but he and his family often visited Pleasant Beach Baptist Church, especially on Sunday night. Peggy noted that he and former Pleasant Beach Baptist pastor Bobby Stout were long-time friends.
His service on County Commission put him in touch with a lot of people. “He spent a lot of time helping people. He would make calls to Nashville, to Washington. He was very involved with the people he represented, and even people outside his district. He enjoyed helping people,” Peggy shared.
“John knew everyone in Hampton and many, many people from all over Carter County. He enjoyed meeting people and making new friends,” his wife said.
“When John became sick and too ill to work, he enjoyed sitting on the porch, drinking Dr. Enuf and waving at people when they passed,” Peggy said.
John Lewis has been gone almost a month and a half, and it’s a little quieter around his place, but if you listen carefully, you can hear his laughter, his shout of greeting. You can bet John Lewis will be remembered for a long time around Hampton and other parts, as well. He was one of a kind.

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