Submitted by Bill's Cousin, Marilyn Foster.


Bill was born September 30, 1920, in Knox Township, Clarke County, Iowa. His parents were Ray and Pearl Paul Lewis. He had two brothers, Maurice and Dwight, and one sister, Phyllis Lewis Vander Linden. They all went to Knox # 5 school. Maurice also taught there one year. All of them
except Dwight graduated from Osceola High School. Dwight graduated from Prescott, Arizona. Their father, Ray, was in partnership with Harold (Pete) Lewis at Lewis Springs. Bill's parents moved to Prescott, Arizona in the mid 1940s.

Bill was in the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) for a year before he entered the Army September 30, 1942. He was a member of the Military Combat Company in Africa, Sicily, and Italy in WWII. He spent some time in the hospital after the Sicily Campaign. The Master Sergeant of the administration was Dick Flesher of Osceola. He also mentioned a Wayne Johnston and Bob West who were in the 3rd Armored Division. They managed to have a party before they went their different ways.

Bill escorted General George C. Marshall and was decorated in Mignano, Italy. His Company was awarded 19 Purple Hearts, 21 Silver Stars and 17 Bronze Stars. Some of the celebrities he got to see were Al Jolson, Irving Berlin, Marlene Dietrich, John Garfield, Katherine Cornell and the Andrew Sisters. He has written a book about his experiences. It is ready for publication and is called "G. I. Blue." He came home with the first bunch who had enough points and was discharged September 30, 1945.

Bill and his wife Jodi moved to Tempe, Arizona. He has been painting and teaching for over 50 years and has won several prizes. He is a charter member and past president of the Arizona Watercolor Association and retired chairman of the Art Department of South Mountain High School in Phoenix, Arizona. He and Jodi have four sons and several grandchildren.

A flyer about Bill tells that his paintings can be found in collections throughout the United States and many foreign countries. In 1963, he was one of 40 artists invited to the Butler Institute American Annual Midyear Show at Youngstown, Ohio, and in 1968, he was one of 40 selected for the Watercolor USA traveling exhibit.

"Bill has his own philosophy about watercolor, and that is reflected in his paintings. He paints what he sees and feels... He believes that a good watercolor should be a fresh, crisp, and exciting interpretation of an idea or subject with the most direct approach possible. It is the philosophy that gives his paintings their invigorating integrity."

Marilyn adds: "Brother Dwight was in the Korean War and I believe he said he was a photographer."


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Last Revised June 6, 2015