Stephen A. Lewis- Benton, IL

Stephen Andrew Lewis, 44, of Benton, died June 22, 2024. He was born to Bob and Becky (Smith) Lewis. Stephen was extremely bright and had many talents. He was an Eagle Scout, an accomplished saxophone player, and a doting uncle. Stephen was Valedictorian of his class at Benton Consolidated High School where he was a member of the band, the jazz band, and scholar bowl team, as well as participating in math and science competitions. His senior year, he won First Place in the WYSE Physics competition.

Stephen graduated with honors from Southern Illinois University with degrees in Aviation Management and Aviation Flight. He attained the rank of Captain as a commercial airline pilot. He was a Certified Flight Instructor and aviation technical writer.

Stephen was an avid traveler and adventurer. He loved zip lining and once did a parachute jump from an airplane to celebrate his birthday.

Using Rosetta Stone, he became fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese. On two separate occasions, he spent several months in Brazil working at a hostel while immersing himself in Brazilian culture and perfecting his Portuguese. He spent time with a Brazilian friend in Ireland, England, Belgium, Luxemburg, France and The Netherlands.

Another trip took him to Russia to visit Moscow and St. Petersburg. He rode the Tans-Siberian Railroad across Russia to Siberia where he swam in Lake Baikal. He continued on to Mongolia where he stayed in a Yurt and rode horses on the Mongolian Plains before traveling through China.

He returned to South America two more times, this time to perfect his Spanish. The first trip lasted 3 months and included Uruguay, Argentina and Chile, including touring Patagonia all the way to the southern tip of the Western Hemisphere. The Second trip lasted several months and included touring Chile, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.

Stephen also travelled widely in the United States and Canada.

Stephen is survived by his parents; his sister Natalie (Jake) Magnuson; his brother Richard (Vanessa) Lewis; his niece, Sophia Magnuson; his nephews, Will Magnuson, Asher Lewis, and Eli Holman; his aunt Linda (Bill Fisher) Lewis; his uncles, Tom (Judy) Smith and Billy (Cathy) Smith; and numerous cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Wayne and Mary Alice Lewis, and Tom and Jeannine Smith.

A private graveside service will be held with interment at the Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery in Benton. Memorial Contributions in Stephen’s memory may be made to the Benton Ministerial Alliance’s summer lunch program.

Funeral services are under the direction of the Leffler Funeral Home in Benton, Illinois.

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