In Memoriam

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Esther Christine Dorles Lewis ’42

Esther Lewis ’42 won the Babson Award in 1996.

Esther was the oldest of three daughters born to Harold and Lula Dorles, and spent her childhood in southeast Portland. She earned a BA in general literature writing a thesis on the evolution of Leaves of Grass with Prof. Victor Chittick [English 1928–41]. Following graduation, she married engineer David J. Lewis. They had four children and lived in Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Venezuela, and Thailand. Their house in northeast Portland was Esther’s home for the last 58 years. She was a welcoming hostess and a devoted gardener; she was active in the public schools and philanthropic organizations; a patron of the arts; and an expert at living an active, long life. Following David’s death in 1985, Esther traveled, engaged in many civic endeavors, wrote, and swam. “She was a generous person,” says her family, “with a fierce belief in the ability of people to do what was right and ethical.” She received the Babson Award in 1996, honoring her long service to Reed and to the alumni association, including hosting students, organizing events, revising the alumni association’s constitution, and serving on the Foster-Scholz Club committee and the alumni board. She also assisted her friend Ruth Cahill ’43 in the final years of Ruth’s life. Survivors include her children, Christine (Tim) Kopp, Nancy Roth, Mark (Dianne) Lewis, and Reed (Margaret) Lewis; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; eight foster children; and her sister Edna C. Dorles ’46.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2015

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