Robert C. Lewis

Published 10:15 am Monday, March 20, 2017

CHARLOTTE – Robert Clayton Lewis, of Charlotte, NC, died on March 1, 2017 at home surrounded by his family. He was 86.

Born December 15, 1930 in Green Sea, Horry County, South Carolina, Mr. Lewis was the son of the late Cornie Harrelson and Herbert Hugh Lewis.


Clayton Lewis’s wife of 62 years, Mary Alice Banks Lewis of Chester County, SC; his son and daughter-in-law, Hugh and Barbara Lewis of Charlotte, NC; grandsons Justin Scott Lewis of California and Hunter Davis Lewis of Charlotte, NC are the surviving members of his immediate family. His niece Susan Marie Ford Cain of Columbia, SC, and her children Jacqueline Bessette (Bess) and John Ford; and nephew David Francis Ford, II, and wife Diane Onofry Ford of Columbia, SC, and their children Leighton and Jack are extended family members surviving Mr. Lewis.

Mr. Lewis’s sister, Jacquelyn (Jackie) Eudora Lewis and her husband, David Francis Ford predeceased him.

Robert Clayton Lewis received his undergraduate degree in history and education from Wake Forest University. He earned his master’s degree in education administration and history from East Carolina University and received an advanced principles certificate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed additional graduate study at several institutions, including Western Carolina University, George Peabody College for Teachers/Vanderbilt, and Pennsylvania State University.

A life-long educator, Mr. Lewis was a teacher and administrator in both public schools and higher education. He retired from Chowan University, Murfreesboro, NC, in December 1996, after 27.5 years of service. At Chowan University he served as Dean of Students, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for the Office of Development, Director of Freshman Orientation, and History Professor.

Robert Clayton Lewis actively participated in many professional and educational organizations, including the North Carolina Education Association and the National Education Association.

He and his wife, Mary Alice Lewis, endowed five scholarships at Chowan University. These scholarships include the Robert Clayton Lewis Endowed Scholarship and the Mary Alice Banks Lewis Scholarship for Men’s Basketball.

Robert Clayton Lewis served in the United State Army; was active in Rotary for 42 years and an ordained Deacon at both Murfreesboro Baptist Church and Myers Park Baptist Church. He also served as president of the Roanoke-Chowan Community Concert Association and the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce. He also worked with the Democratic Party of Mecklenburg County, volunteered in after school programs and Cub Scout summer camp leader.

Robert Clayton Lewis enjoyed reading, music, gardening, raising doves and traveling.

His memorial service will be held at Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC, on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. On Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. the family will gather for a graveside service Green Sea Baptist Church, 1241 Green Sea Rd. Green Sea, SC. Friends may join the family for the services.

Before his death, Robert Clayton Lewis requested that family and friends make memorial donations to one of the following philanthropic venues: Robert Clayton Lewis Endowed Scholarship at Chowan University online ( or by mail to the Office of Development, One University Place, Murfreesboro, NC 27855; or Green Sea Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, Green Sea Baptist Church, PO Box 125 Green Sea, SC 29545; or General Endowment Fund, Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC 28207-2582.

Arrangements are in the care of Heritage Funeral Home, Weddington Chapel. An online guestbook is available at