September 7, 1939 - April 10, 2017
Dr. Brian J. Lewis passed away peacefully April 10, 2017 surrounded by beloved family and friends with whom he shared infinite gratitude during the final months of his life after a fast-moving cancer diagnosis in January.
Nicknamed “Butch” at birth, he was born in Boston, Massachusetts to parents, Ann Rose Quinn and James J. Lewis. He attended St. Philip Neri Elementary and Mount Carmel High School in Chicago. He was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne and was part of a skydiving team in the 1950s. He earned a bachelor degree from the University of Michigan, and a master and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Utah. He wrote one of the first dissertations in the U.S. about clinical hypnosis.
Throughout his career Brian worked as a psychologist in the field of alcoholism and addiction. From starting treatment facilities with Native American communities in South Dakota to private practice in California focusing on helping families and individuals, his passion was being of service to those affected by alcoholism.
This year Brian celebrated his 55th year of sobriety. He was an inspiration and supportive presence to all those he helped throughout his time in Alcoholics Anonymous. He loved everyone in the program as family.
An avid hiker and world traveler, Brian loved the natural beauty of the Cascade and Siskiyou Mountains. He summited almost every peak from Mount Shasta to Mount Rainier and had a story about each of them. A natural storyteller, Brian was also a writer and poet. When he wasn’t hiking, enjoying long conversations with friends over coffee, or sharing his favorite puns, he was interested in world affairs and loved exploring many topics including history, philosophy, geography, and politics.
He is survived by his wife, Jhenna; his children, Brian, Michael, Neil, Kara, and Brianna; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; brother, James; and sister, Patricia. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Denise; sister, Martha; and brothers, Joe and Frank.
A celebration of life honoring Brian will be held from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, May 20, 2017 at Calvin Hall, Presbyterian Church, 1615 Clarke Ave., Ashland. Memorial contributions may be made to AA and Hospice.