Lewis's Story

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BELFAST - Artist and author, Lewis Victor Mays Jr., 87, died peacefully in his home in Belfast, ME, with his children at his side, on Friday, April 17, 2015.

The son of Lewis Victor Mays and Sara Fadely, he was born in New York City, in 1927, and raised in Bronxville, NY. Enlisting in the Navy during the final months of World War II, he began his ROTC at Ohio State in 1945, transferring to Yale University in 1946, where he majored in art and was awarded his B.A. in 1949. He served as a Naval Intelligence Officer and was stationed in Panama from 1952 to 1953. He continued to serve in the Naval Reserve until 1978, commanding his Intelligence unit and retiring as a Captain. In 1950 he met his beloved Lynnabeth Olwin (b.1930), the start of an enduring and loving union, continuing until her death in 2008. They married in 1954 and made their home in Clinton, CT, for nearly 50 years. The author of three novels for young readers Fast Iron, Action Starboard! and Dead Reckoninghe became a prolific, award-winning illustrator of books and magazines before making a mid-career shift to what became his life's work and joy: meticulously-researched, historical marine watercolors. His work garnered multiple awards and has been exhibited in galleries and museums from coast to coast. Victor shared with his wife a deep love for and dedication to their community, serving on various boards, including the library, historical society and local land trust. He is remembered as a wise, principled, kind and gentle man with a keen sense of humor, who enjoyed time with his family above all else.

He is survived by his son, Peyton, of Seattle; his daughter, Sara Hessler and her husband, Bob, of Ellsworth, ME; his son, Lewis Jefferson and his wife, Susan Lyons, of New York City; and by three grandchildren, Katie Hessler of New York City, John Hessler of Atlanta and Meagan Mays and her husband, Matt, of Nashville.

Contributions in his memory to to the Clinton Historical Society, 103 E. Main St., Clinton, CT 06413 or Waldo County Home Health and Hospice, care of Waldo County Healthcare, Inc., 118 Northport Ave., P.O. Box 287, Belfast, ME, 04915. are welcomed. Arrangements are under the care of Direct Cremation of Maine, 182 Waldo Avenue, Belfast.
Published on  April 27, 2015
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