Tributes paid to community hero and war veteran Jack Lewis, who dies at 98

Tributes paid to community hero and war veteran Jack Lewis, who dies at 98

The honorary life president of Stanmore and Canons Park Shul was known locally as "Mr Stanmore" due to his work in the community

Tributes have been paid to war veteran Jack Lewis who passed away in hospital at the age of 98 following a chest infection.

Lewis, 98, from Canons Park, honorary life president of Stanmore and Canons Park Shul, was often referred to colloquially as “Mr Stanmore” due to his work in the community.

“His main aim was to teach young people about the horrors of the holocaust and also of war,” said his 68 year-old son-in-law Jonathan Kober.

“He’s also a hero for the Stanmore community as well as for the borough of Harrow with regards to remembrance.

“He will be remembered as a giant of a man who was always meticulous in everything he did. He loved doing work for the community in any way he could  find.”

Jack Lewis with his late wife Helen

The war veteran joined the royal army medical corps in 1938 serving in West Africa and India and was promoted to the role of sergeant major.

After the war, Lewis opened an accounting practice in the West End, later moving to Edgware, and also served the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX) as national chairman and later as vice president.

As part of his work on remembrance, Lewis organised a trip to Bergen Belsen concentration camp attended by survivor Gena Turgel to mark the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the camp.

Lewis married his late wife Helen at Hendon United Synagogue  in 1947 and they had two children, Barbara Kober and Stuart Lewis.

Harrow East MP Bob Blackman told Jewish News: “Jack was a truly unique man and it was an honour to have known him. His contribution to Stanmore and beyond is immeasurable and Jack leaves a great legacy.

“His nickname of ‘Mr Stanmore’ will be forever apt for his knowledge of the area and time spent volunteering at the synagogue.

 “From serving his country in the war to his work with AJEX to his work in Holocaust education at local level, Jack influenced and educated many people.

 “My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as we celebrate his life.”

A spokesperson for AJEX said: “Jack Lewis was a man who worked very hard for AJEX. He was past national chair, currently a vice president.

“In his last years, in spite of poor health he continued to do all he could to recruit new members for the association raising quite large amounts of money.”

Merrick Wolman, chairman of Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue, said: “It was a privilege to work with Jack, and I thank him for his wisdom and guidance during my chairmanship .

“He was omnipresent in all elements of shul life.  He had meticulous standards and ensured that the shul and services ran like clockwork, and that is the legacy he leaves behind.

“Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”

Lewis is survived by his children, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His funeral was held at Bushey Old Cemetery on May 10.

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