July 10, 1953 - October 9, 2016
Bladenboro, North Carolina | Age 63
Johnny Arlin Lewis passed away on October 9, 2016. He was the owner and operator of Lewis Commercial Refrigeration.
Johnny is preceded in death by his parents, John Preston and Edith Flowers Lewis; a son, Jerry Mitchell Lewis; special cousins Joyce Davis (Steve) of Ocean Isle Beach; and a brother-in-law, Kenneth Marshall Cain. He is survived by his wife, Jan Roberts Lewis of Bladenboro; his son, Matthew Kenneth Lewis of Bladenboro; daughter-in-law Sylvia Smith Lewis; granddaughters Haley Marie and Georgia Grace; his sister, Vickie Lewis Cain of Bladenboro; his mother and father-in-law, Livingston and Frankie Roberts of Dublin; sister-in-law Julia Wilson (Doug) of Dunn; brother-in-law Dewey Roberts of Lumberton; nephews Martin Wilson of Charlotte and Samuel Wilson (Abigail) of Dunn; and special cousins Ronald Ivey (Jean) of Lumberton and Patsy Horne (J.D.) of Fayetteville.
A celebration of life will be held Thursday, October 13, 2016 at Bladen Gaskins Funeral Home in Elizabethtown, at 6:00 pm with visitation immediately following.
***This service is conducted as Johnny requested. He wanted a brief and simple service that would celebrate his life, and let people know what was important to him, what his values were, and how much he loved his family, friends, and his work. He did not want people to be sad when they thought of him, but wanted them to know how much he loved and enjoyed his life; how blessed he felt he was; and how he never took for granted all that he had. ***
Johnny loved to spend time with his family and friends. He made the statement, "I want my friends to miss me when I'm gone. I want them to say, 'I could always count on Johnny.'" When Johnny was no longer working, what he missed most was interacting with people.
Although Johnny loved to deer hunt, in the last few years, he mostly enjoyed sitting in his tree stand, (which he had equipped with a chair and a heater), drinking his coffee, and watching the deer and other wildlife as they went by.
Johnny had a very strong work ethic and would work tirelessly to make sure he made his employers and customers happy. He loved helping people. Johnny would put aside what he was doing to answer the call of a friend, or anyone who was in need. Johnny's talent was that he was mechanically inclined, and he used his talent not only to make a living, but to help others.
He was down to earth, practical in his thinking, and honest. He was appreciative of anything that anyone did for him, big or small, and he didn't quickly forget a kindness, and never met a stranger. Johnny made it his practice not to judge anyone, and he didn't gossip or speculate. He tried his best to do what he thought was right. He had a strong moral compass.
It was Johnny's goal to work in refrigeration and to own his own business, and he achieved both. After years of working for companies such as Winn Dixie and Pizza Hut, he earned his refrigeration contractor's license and started his own business which he operated until he retired in 2015.
Johnny grew up attending Raynham Baptist Church, where he was saved and baptized at an early age. He held the teachings and beliefs instilled in him until the end of his life. He kept a Bible in his work van, and he sat and read from the Bible each morning before he left home. He tried to learn and live by scriptural principles. He believed that if you lived by the Ten Commandments, and did the right thing as best you could, everything would work together for good.
Johnny battled cancer for nearly seventeen years, and he faced it head-on and with courage. Many, many, times, Johnny would say that with all of the good things he had been blessed with, he had no right to complain about his problems. He was determined to never let his illness prevent him from enjoying life. He never talked about his problems and never felt sorry for himself. Johnny never asked, "Why me?" He was never bitter, and never sad or depressed. He dwelled on, and was thankful for, the good things that had happened in his life. He always said that he had accomplished more than he ever thought he could or would. He was thankful and content with all that he had, but he valued relationships and friendships with family and friends above any material things that he owned.
Johnny was a loving husband, father and grandfather; a beloved brother; and was special to and loved by all of his extended family.