Malcolm Laik Lewis
Malcolm Laik Lewis, born November 26, 1942 in New York City, passed away at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara on November 23, 2008 with family at his side. The first of three sons of Dr. Benjamin Lewis and Esther Lewis, Malcolm was raised in Great Neck, NY until 1954 when the family, including brothers Jonathan and Adam, moved to Fort Defiance, AZ, where Dr. Lewis oversaw the Navajo Medical Center. Eastern Arizona was a virtual frontier compared with New York, and it provided Malcolm with many unfading memories of people and events.
At the end of Dr. Lewis’ assignment in Arizona in 1956, the family moved to San Mateo, CA, where Malcolm developed a passion for swimming and diving while in high school. In 1958, the family moved again to the San Diego-area city of La Mesa. There, Malcolm graduated from Grossmont High School in 1960, and went on to attend San Diego State University. It was there that he met his future wife, Nancy Nimmo.
In May of 1966, Malcolm enlisted in the U.S. Army. He completed basic training at Fort Ord, California, Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and Officer Candidate School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. After graduating from the six month-long Combat Engineer OCS class, Malcolm was assigned to the 547th Engineer Battalion, stationed in Darmstadt, Germany. Prior to leaving for Germany, he and Nancy were married on May 7, 1967. Malcolm completed his service in May, 1969 and was transferred to the United States Army Reserve as a first lieutenant. He and Nancy toured Europe in a new Porsche 912 before returning to California to finish their undergraduate degrees, Malcolm’s in physics and Nancy’s in mathematics.
Malcolm and Nancy moved to Santa Barbara intending to complete graduate studies at UCSB, but instead they both found careers that made them happy. In 1976, Malcolm went to work for a new telemetry company called Acroamatics, which is still in business on the South Coast. He enjoyed his work, and his coworkers were some of his closest friends. At the time of his retirement from Acroamatics in May, 2007 he was vice president of systems and a member of the board.
Nancy worked at Santa Barbara Research Center, which later became a part of Hughes Aircraft, and then a part of Raytheon. She was also heavily involved in her children’s schools, work of which the whole family was proud.
In addition to his professional work, Malcolm was active on the Science and Engineering Council until a few years ago, when his health began limiting his involvement. In addition to his general duties as a board member, he was responsible for the group’s sponsorship of the Santa Barbara Science Fair and scholarship.
Most of all, Malcolm was a kind, decent and generous man to his wife, his sons, his parents, his brothers, his friends, his relatives, his community and to strangers. His physical and moral courage were unmatched. He never compromised his integrity, serving as a fine example to his children and others. Such a man cannot be replaced; we will miss him daily.
Malcolm was preceded in death by his eldest son, David, his wife, Nancy, and his brother Jon. He is survived by his youngest son Aaron, of Santa Barbara, his youngest brother Adam, of Oakland, and numerous sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews. We are ever grateful for our amazingly supportive extended families, the members of which have played an essential role in providing comfort and assistance in times of trouble.
Likewise, we are grateful for the skilled and compassionate medical staff that superbly cared for Malcolm in his final years, and especially in his final days. We would like to specifically thank Dr. Joel Brandt, Dr. Ronald Ungerer, Dr. Paul Andelin, Cottage Health System nurses Mary Ann from Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, and Monica, Jodie, Teresinha, and Jocelyn from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, as well as all the respiratory therapists, particularly Amy for her attentive and compassionate care during Malcolm’s time in the Critical Care Unit.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Lung Association at http://www.lungusa.org or mail to The American Lung Association, 61 Broadway St, New York, NY 10006.