Margaret Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Foy Lewis, 89, owner of Lewis Nursery and Farms

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Margaret Elizabeth Foy Lewis
Margaret Elizabeth Foy Lewis

Margaret Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Foy Lewis, 89, of Rocky Point, passed away peacefully with members of her family by her side at her more recent home, Cambridge Village in Wilmington. She was born on February 19, 1927, to the late Francis Marion Foy and Margaret Mary Rafter Foy of Wilmington.

Betty’s mother died when she was seven years old and she was raised, along with her sister, Ann Foy Howard, by her father; stepmother, Catherine Gates Foy of Porter’s Neck; and her much-loved grandmother, Maude Alexander Foy of Wilmington.

Betty graduated from New Hanover High School and worked for Peoples Savings & Loan in Wilmington. She met Everette after his return from his service in the Army during World War II. They married, and after stints in Raleigh and Hendersonville, they settled in Rocky Point to start their own farm next to his family’s home.

Here, they joined the Riley’s Creek community and became members of the Riley’s Creek Baptist Church. As an active member of Riley’s Creek Baptist Church, she served the Lord as a Sunday school teacher for 20 years and as a choir member for 30 years. She worked tirelessly for her church and community. She loved and was wholeheartedly engaged in the rural farm life. She worked as a volunteer for Pender County Board of Elections and served on many committees for the schools her children attended.

She was a member of the Ruritan Club of Long Creek and a volunteer for the Pender County Utility Commission, being instrumental in helping to bring county services to their community. When she and Everette moved to Wilmington in their later years, they joined Temple Baptist Church, where they were reunited with their former beloved Riley’s Creek Pastor, E.C. Mattocks. After Everette’s death, and when Betty could no longer attend church at Temple, she rejoined Riley’s Creek Baptist, where she wanted her final services to be conducted and her service to God remembered.

Although she was extremely active in her community, Betty’s greatest passion was her family. The love and support she provided her husband, and his love of farming, enabled them to work together to build and successfully grow Lewis Nursery and Farms. Her devotion to her husband, her four children, their spouses, and later her nine grandchildren is her greatest legacy and will carry on for generations. As a gracious entertainer, she hosted many gatherings to bring family and friends together. Her role as a wife was always foremost, and her role as a mother followed closely behind. She set high moral standards for her children and diligently instilled in them the life lessons she and Everette felt were so important; among them were a commitment to their faith, family, friendships and community. They lived and taught a sense of selflessness, self-awareness and a love for the simple things in life.

Betty, being a sister, devoted mother, grandmother, and dear friend will be missed by all. Although in her later years her memory failed her, she never lost her spunk and her love and concern for her family. She developed a special friendship in the last few years of her life with Lynn Scanlon, who was her much-loved and admired caregiver. The family of Betty Lewis would like to thank Lynn for her guidance and support through the challenging times faced over the last few years. In addition, the family would like to thank the many caregivers she came to know at Champions, Davis and Cambridge.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents; beloved husband of 64 years, Calvin Everette Lewis; and sister, Ann Foy Howard.

She is survived by her four children, Beth Williams (Lee) and Cal Lewis (Jackie) all of Wilmington, Ellen Ramsey (Wharton) of Roanoke, Va., and Laurie Barnhart (Jeff) of Raleigh; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; three sisters, Ms. Peggy Gates, Mrs. Mel Jones and Mrs. Ann Lennon, all of Wilmington; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 29, at the home of Beth and Lee Williams, 2114 S. Canterbury Road, Wilmington. Visitation will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Riley’s Creek Baptist Church with funeral services following at 2 p.m. Interment will be held in Riley’s Creek Community Cemetery immediately following services.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Riley’s Creek Baptist Church, 19845 NC Highway, 210 Rocky Point, NC 28457; or the Alzheimer’s Association, Eastern North Carolina Chapter, at 3739 National Drive, Suite 110, Raleigh, NC 27612.

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