Lance John Lewis

27/11/1956 - 26/11/2021


Obituary For Lance John Lewis

November 27, 1956 – November 26, 2021

Lance passed peacefully on November 26, 2021, surrounded by his loving family, hours shy of his 65th birthday.

Born to parents Jack and Joan Lewis (née Moskalyk) on November 27, 1956, Lance spent his boyhood chasing after adventure—and mischief—alongside his brother Lynn and kid sister Lorraine, in the countryside of Victoria and Kamloops, BC. That sense of curiosity was a driving force throughout his life, pushing him to graduate with honours with a Bachelor of Science in Botany from the University of British Columbia and a Master’s Degree in Genetics from the University of Alberta. Lance, with his team, made important contributions to science throughout his 31-year career at the Agriculture Canada Beaverlodge Research Station, where he specialized in canola breeding.

Lance’s motto was “leave the world a better place than you found it”. Volunteering for local community groups, he proudly served as ‘Akela’ the Cub Scout leader, took leadership roles in 4-H (beekeeping, computers, woodworking, and small engines), and was an active member of the ‘large mammal fraternity’, the Beaverlodge Elks. In 2013, he travelled to Ethiopia with ANSO, assisting with the organization’s good works in promoting education and sustainable rural communities. In addition, Lance believed in direct philanthropy—improving the lives of people he met—whether that meant helping a street vendor in Colombia celebrate her daughter’s quinceañera,or supporting a Cuban expatriate seeking a new life in the USA.

Lance was a true outdoorsman, a hunter, fisher, and camper. On an autumn evening, he could be found looking down cutlines, perched in a tree stand with a bow and arrow, or paddling a canoe.

Lance never stopped learning. He trained as an Emergency Medical Responder and an English as a Second Language teacher. After retiring he tried his hand in the oil patch for a year and a half: it was tough work physically, and certainly challenging for a safety conscious environmentalist. He was an avid reader and spent many happy hours perusing the latest articles from the Globe and Mail from his favorite living room chair, always well-armed for lively discussions about current events.

Lance’s aversion to Northern Alberta winters and his passion for travel led him to several months-long expeditions around the world to Africa, South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. He documented his adventures with tens of thousands of photos. His favourite landing place, however, was in the company of family and friends, solving the world’s problems over coffee or a beer around a campfire with Alan and Drew and the boys.

Lance had a real gift for storytelling. He would captivate with his tales, always with a twinkle in his eye. He loved spending time with children and never wasted a ‘teachable moment’. That radiant smile, sense of humour, and hearty laugh will be with us forever.

Quality was important to him. “If you buy for quality, you buy once,” he would say. He took pride in maintaining his tools, engines, computers, home, and relationships. He savored imported coffees and whiskeys and crafted his own wine, his signature label, Château de Garage. As Grandpa, he dutifully instilled in his grandkids his love of chocolate ice cream.

He will be loved and dearly missed by his wife of 40 years, Donna, his children Alexandra, Ryan, Ariane (Taylor Field), and Nicholas (Lexi White), mother Joan, brother Lynn Lewis (Laura) and sister Lorraine McIntyre (Gordon), mother-in-law Eleanore Basaraba, brother-in-law Darrell Basaraba, and beloved grandchildren Laine and Cohen Field and Adrianna Lewis, his four nieces, extended family, and many, many friends.

Lance was predeceased by his father, Jack Lewis, step-mother, Maria Van Loon, father-in-law George Basaraba, and brother-in-law, Rod Basaraba.

A special thanks to the wonderful staff at the Grande Prairie Cancer Centre, Palliative Care team, and QEII 5 North for their professionalism, compassion and kindness throughout Lance’s prostate cancer journey.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at Beaverlodge United Church on Saturday, December 18, 2021, at 1:00 pm. Since capacity is limited to 50 registered guests, the service will also be live streamed through Bear Creek Funeral Service.

Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780-830-7742

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  • 12/26/2021

    Hi Donna. So sorry to hear of Lance's passing. Cancer is tough. Lucy in Calgary

  • 12/22/2021

    Donna and family, so sorry to hear about Lance. The months ahead will be difficult but take comfort in the many loving memories you have of him. Glad I got to know you both in Mexico. Carol Dunk

  • 12/19/2021

    Donna and family. So sorry for your loss. Attended memorial virtually. Alexandra and Arianne did a lovely tribute for their dad. Lance made a difference and will be missed. Brenda and Peter Day

  • 12/18/2021

    Donna, Alex, Arianne, Ryan & Nick & families; our sincere condolences to your loss. What a lovely service you had to celebrate Lance. I loved the music, the stories and the eulogy. You girls did a great job. Hugs. Elaine Stenbraaten & Chris Eakin.

  • 12/18/2021

    Thank you for the opportunity to attend Lance's Celebration of Life - virtually. It was truly a celebration, albeit one that marks an end, and then, the beginning of another chapter for those still here. I liked the departing words along the lines of: the body may die, but the love lives on. Elizabeth McMillan P.S. 'loved the drone shots - from black and white to flying photos! (hmm..maybe representative of Lance's being.)

  • 12/18/2021

  • 12/18/2021

    Deepest condolences from B.C. We always considered your family part of ours. Our love to Donna and kids. We will be watching the livestream and sending prayers your way. Love from Bill Lawrence, Cathy and Andy Cole and Patty and Garry Wadson.

  • 12/18/2021

    I miss you big brother, it seems like yesterday you were here on our back deck, enjoying BBQ, and sharing great conversation. Thank you for being so supportive of your little sister, helping me find my first job after UBC in Beaverlodge, and letting me get to know your amazing family. Thinking of Donna, Alex, Ryan, Ariane and Nick today, and sharing memories.

  • 12/12/2021

    I send my heartfelt condolences Donna and family, on the loss of Lance. I too am shocked and saddened to hear of his passing. He had a very large presence in his Community. My memories go back to the many field trips with classes of Biology students to the Research Station where Lance would enhance their learning with the practical application of his Genetics work there. It was always very informative with some entertainment and light heartedness woven into his presentations. Always a very worthwhile addition to their studies. He will be missed but fondly remembered.

  • 12/09/2021

    My deepest condolences to Donna and kids on the passing of Lance. I was deeply saddened and shocked to learn of his passing. Lance and I go way back about 30 years when we both worked at the research station. We both had young families when we met. Throughout this 30 plus years he and I enjoyed many rounds of golf, many great conversations and many jugs of beer. Lance always delighted me with his sharp wit and knowledge of many issues and subjects. I will always have fond memories of us chatting it up and hanging out together. We had a lot of fun times. Real fun times. Lance was a great guy, a great husband and a great dad. I am proud I can say he was a dear friend of mine. I will miss you pal.

  • 12/08/2021

    I am so saddened to hear about the passing of a good man. My thoughts go out to Donna, Lorraine and the rest of the family. It was a pleasure to have known you Lance. Dave Watson

  • 12/06/2021

    Missing you every second of every day, dad. You won't believe how much pumpkin pie people have brought over, your favorite! ☺️ It's not going to be an easy road without you.. but knowing your unconditional love and having a lifetime of precious memories to look back on will give us strength. You're one of a kind. Love you forever and for always, out to the most distant galaxy and beyond! I know you're out there having a great trip. -Tag

  • 12/06/2021

    Donna and family. We send you our deepest sympathy. Lance will be deeply missed by many,especially his friend,my brother Alan. Thinking of you. Margaret and Don Gatto. Lethbridge

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