- 82 years old
- Date of birth: Jan 9, 1931
- Place of birth:
Murray Town, Freetown, Sierra Leone
- Date of passing: Dec 24, 2013
- Place of passing:
Ellenwood, Georgia, United States
|Let the memory of Uncle BoySam be with us forever. In our hearts your memory lingers Sweetly tender, fond and true There is not a day dear Father That we do not think of You.|
"In Loving Memory of Samuel Joseph Konigbage Lewis Sr."
Samuel Joseph Konigbagbe Lewis II fondly known as “Boy- sam” to his peers, and “Uncle S.J.” to the youngsters, was born on January 9th 1931 to the late Mr. Evelyn Agibola Lewis from Murray Town, and Mrs. Naddie Kolleh
Lewis from the Kambia district in Sierra Leone. Boy-sam, the grandson of the first Sierra Leonean Knight, Sir Samuel Lewis, was called home on December 24th after a brief illness. He received his primary and secondary education at St. Anthony and St. Edwards schools respectively. After finishing secondary school, he was trained as a teacher at Fourah Bay College. Following graduation, he taught at his Alma-mater St. Anthony, from 1952-1956.
In October 1956, he began his Public Health Career at the London Institute of Education, graduating in 1960 with a diploma in Health Education. He subsequently went on to complete additional training at the London School
of Hygiene and Tropical medicine. In 1961 he returned home to Sierra Leone and was employed by the Ministry of Health, as the first Health Education Officer of Sierra Leonean ancestry. On June 06, 1964, he got married to
Ransolina Idowu (nee Macauley) . While working at the Ministry of Health, he received additional training at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, and again at the London School of hygiene and tropical medicine in 1966. Somewhere in all of his shuttles in, and out of the United Kingdom, he became a member of the British Territorial Army.
In 1968 he enrolled at Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University; shortly followed by his wife. He completed a Bachelors degree in Biology. He then went on to complete a Master of Science degree in Health Science at the University of California, Northridge. Following graduation, he returned to Sierra Leone to resume his civil service career as a Health Educator; and also worked as a part-time lecturer at the Fourah bay College, University of Sierra Leone. After a visit to China to study the methods of “bare-foot” doctors in 1976, on his return, he
initiated the Association of traditional healers of Sierra Leone. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Health.
In 1977 he returned to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to complete a second masters degree in Medical Demography; an accomplishment that was widely reported in the Sierra Leone media, as the first Sierra Leonean to obtain that degree. Following graduation, he returned to Sierra Leone to resume his Public Health career. He was the founder, producer and host of the highly popular health discussion program on Sierra Leone T.V., called “Healthy Living”; which ran for a span of fifteen years.
In 1979, on secondment from the government of Sierra Leone, he began working for the World Health Organization (W.H.O) as a Health Education Specialist in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Kenya. His travels with the W.H.O took him to as far away as China Geneva, Mexico and all over the East and Central Africa corridors. Among his peers, he was nicknamed “Sin Bird the sailor” for his frequent travels around the world. Boy-Sam retired in
January of 1994. After the Civil war in Sierra Leone intensified in 1996, Boy-Sam and his wife were evacuated to the United States where they permanently lived with their children until his passing.
In Atlanta, he worked as a substitute teacher for the Fulton County School system for almost ten years, but stopped after his physical strength began to wane. He did so with the utmost integrity, dignity, and pride, as he has
characteristically done his entire life. Pa Lewis was kind, generous, engaging and a soft-spoken gentleman; who was loved and admired by his friends and professional colleagues; not to leave out those he made at the Waverly
Subdivision, where he lived with his son and family.
Sometime in January of last year, to the surprise of his children, he secretly registered and commenced class for his Doctorate in Health Services at Capella University; but was suddenly confronted with the rigorous reality of pursuing such an online program, and keeping up with health challenges. A semester later, he withdrew his enrollment. One of his proudest moments, was to see President Obama elected President for the first and second time.
He is survived by his wife Ransolina Lewis (aunty Dowu), children; Dudley, Samuel III and Evelyn; daughters-in-law Jeannette and Alice; grandchildren Kwannette, Kwardel Samuel IV, Joshua and Julian; his sister Nester Gondor, Alfred Lewis, Moses Lewis, and a host of cousins, niece’s and nephew’s here in the U.S., Europe and Sierra Leone.
Off all the accomplishments of our father, we are most proud that he was a believer and a man of strong Christian faith. He understood how his salvation was earned, and we are rest assured knowing that he is in heaven and that we will one day see him again.
"It has been 2 years already since your journey on this earth ended Uncle, we remember and miss you, your gentle wisdom and appetite for continuous learning.
Rest in Peace Uncle S. J."
"Emotions have engulfed my mind. I have been disturbed for long in search of your contacts. Little did I know that you have completed your work here on earth.
I knew " Father" SJ during his first visit to Kenya. He was looking for a place to reside around Nairobi environs. He did not know where to start from. He told me he had comfortably drove from Blantyre to the border of Kenya before he was stopped by security personnel.
I offered to assist Uncle SJ to locate a house of his choice.
When he settled down, I became his "first son" in Kenya though I was thirty three by then. Uncle SJ paid for my hospital bill when I was involved in an accident. He took care of my young family for the period I was hospitalized. I remember him telling me that my name reminded him of his loving wife ( Nee Macauley). Infact on several occasions, he would call me by the name....MACAULEY. He would apologize immediately after being corrected to call W.A.K.O.L.I.........
I remember the frantic efforts we made together when he lost his car (metallic green Datsun 180 B). One inspiring Moment... When leaving Kenya, someone wanted to buy this car at the very last minute after parking all his house holds.... the buyer wanted to pay half and remit the balance later. Wouh... Uncle SJ comment was quick and soft: You are a soldier and Am an ordinary Health Educator... How do get my money from a foreign army man. Sorry Sir the car is too light to carry home than leave it behind.
Father SJ, I still keep the loud Speaker you gave to me and it's in perfect condition. I still have the track you gave me too... " Bob Marley's Don't Worry Be Happy.
I have lost a friend and a father. We Loved you all, but GOD loved you more. Rest in peace Uncle SJ.
To Mama Macauley, I only saw you once when you paid him a visit. To the entire family, God give you strength. Let his spirit shine amongst you all and us.
FARE THEE WELL UNCLE SAM. RIP"
"I have not only lost a friend but a " father". I knew Uncle Sam when we worked together in Kenya Till 1991. He paid my hospital bill after an accident, cared for my family when I was hospitalized... We struggled together to find your stolen Datsun 180 B. You were known as a NEVER GIVE UP officer. Father to many deserving sons and daughters of the world....As a family, we wish to send our heartfelt condolences to your children, Mama Macauley,friends in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Angola, Malawi, Zimbabwe, the US and the world..... cant say more. Uncle SAM, fare thee well. You were loved all the places you worked. But GOD Loved you more. We miss you as a family
May your Soul rest in peace."
"Dear Uncle Sam,
Thank you for all the times of laughter we had together. I miss you and wished you could be with us. Remember enjoying you dancing at Dad 80th birthday not knowing that would be the last time I would see you alive. I know you have joined the host of angels looking down on us and cheering us on!!!! Love from Rich,me and the kids"
"Words cannot express the emptiness your absence has created in this family. Uncle SJ, always there for everyone. I still remember you taking me to school everyday as a very young child and how you took care of the whole family. Now you have gone to join daddy and sister, Val, uncle VG, Eric and all the love ones who went before you, Rest in peace uncle SJ, rest in peace.
"Uncle SJ your memories will be with us. Gone but not forgotten. Rest in perfect peace. The angels are waiting for you. From sis Nesta Gondor and family"
"Dear Uncle SJ,
Your gentle smile and your love for your family will forever be missed!
We love you. RIP
From Baby may (Evelyn) and family
"Dear Uncle Sam,
Thank you for being a part of my childhood. Rest in peace!
Love always, Shola Horton"
"Dear Uncle Sam, It was a pleasure knowing you. You were one of my best Uncles. You would be truly missed. Our love go out to Aunty Dowu and the entire family at home and abroad. We know you are in a better place now. Love Iyamide,Richard and the kids."
"Uncle Sam, i feel privileged having had the opportunity to be a next door neighbor at Byrne Lane, Aberdeen Ferry Road. You always put a smile on our faces whether you were on the porch, driving past or walking down the road. Your example has certainly left a legacy for many of us who had the opportunity to meet you and learn from your experiences. May your soul rest in perfect peace. Deepest Condolences to Aunty Dowu, Kwame, Evelyn and the entire family.
From Randolph Leigh & Family."
"May the Good Lord bring you peace as you come in to his presence and the angels welcome you into paradise. And that infectious smile of yours be our consolation in moment of grief. We will miss you very much but take your rest Mr Boy Sam. And may light perpetual shine upon you. EDDIE , Yvonne and rest of the Akpan Family."
"I feel privileged to have had you as my Uncle, Uncle S.J. was a shining example of what encouraging fatherly love and provision is about. He loved good old England same as me, and would always side with me whenever the U.S. and England was the topic of a debate. I pray that the good Lord Almighty has you in his perfect peace till we meet again. And, I am sure the Lord will always watch over the loved ones you left behind. Aunty Dowu, Dudley, Kwame (chief), Dr. Evelyn, the daughters in law Janette and Alice and the grand children. We will never forget you. Good night Uncle S.J.."
"Mr. Boy-Sam, My family and I prayed that our heavenly Father will keep your soul in perfect peace while you rest peacefully in our Lord's bosom. To my cousin Dowu and her children Kwamie & his family, and Evelyn & his family: Remember that Jesus will always be there to hear your cry and to gather your tears. R.I.P"
"Papa Lewis...a wonderful and fruitful life lived...impeccable in its execution and an excellent example left for your family, friends and the future generation. May God's guidance, mercy and blessings continue to be on you as you "report" to the world beyond. May God's perpectual light shine on you and may your soul rest in perfect peace.
With Love, Charles, Christiana, Nelson & Nadine"
"Our Byrne Lane neighbour, father, mentor and friend! You lived and have left an exemplary life. May your footprints never fade. May God console the families and may he give you sweet, perpetual rest. Lorna French and the Ariyo Lewis families."
"What a loss to our nation!
I first met Pa Lewis (as he was fondly called) in 1975 as program producer at the S.L.B.S. Pa Lewis had pitched a weekly broadcast public health awareness program over the S.L.B.S. and in that first meeting with Gipu Felix-George, John Bunting-Graden and myself, he lamented over the lack of proper public health education in our schools up to our tertiary institutions. He felt using the radio will not solve the problem but will ease the burden. I was assigned the production responsibilities.
I traveled with Pa Lewis all over the country in his public health awareness lectures.
My assignment with Pa Lewis was both a blessing and a curse in some way. It was blessing that I learned from Pa Lewis that not everybody cares about what you know, but everybody cares about what you do. Pa Lewis cut across regional and tribal lines –Krio vs Upline that existed in those days. On Fridays while on tour with him, I will tell him “Pa Lewis mi Ar de go pray oh!” his answer will be.
“Oosai u de lef me, who tell u say mi nor sabi pray nar mas lassi bo leh we go.”
And we will go together and most times he will use the occasion to give his public health lecture right there in the mosque.
Not everything about Pa Lewis I appreciated at that time though. Every time he would come to record his weekly program, I will have the burden of pushing his old “push Mi mek Ar start” (the name we gave to his car which was actually a junk) , I think Opel was the car. It came time that program operators will hide from me when it was Pa Lewis’s time to record. Because I had always asked them to help me push his car. At that time we condemned him for not been part of the guard where he could have stolen some money to buy himself a brand new car. What did we know then? We were only young products of our society, and the only we knew then. Pa Lewis was ahead of his time. If I were to write an epithet on his tombstone, it will only be two words:
To the family, your loss is the nation’s loss. Thank you for sharing him with us. May he rest comfortably with his Lord."
"R.I.P Pa Lewis. You always had that gentle smile for everyone you met.....keep on smiling Sir. You are now with Valorna...what a reunion! Eternal Rest....Eternal Peace. Kwame and family....We all hush ya!!!!---
"I came to Know Uncle Boy Sam as a little boy in Byrne Lane and remember his smile when he would answer back and ask for my Parents, when you greeted him. Been an old Edwardian, I never knew but I am proud to be part of the School he went to. As a Son I respected his fatherly protection he gave all in the area. As a man I looked forward to be like him and as a husband I wished I could love like him and as a father I am Proud to look after my own like he did his.
May his gentle soul rest in peace.
Sahr E. Johnny
"Words can not describe the emotions, the thoughts and the feelings. You were always putting a smile on my face regardless the situation. You will always be remembered, loved and missed. Goodbye Uncle Sam.
Love, Andrew, Cairo & Trixie"
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