John B. Lewis
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John B. Lewis
  • July 4, 1927 - October 31, 2017
  • Columbia, Missouri

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John B. Lewis 90, passed away Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at Boone Hospital Center surrounded by his beloved family.





John was born on July 4, 1927, the son of Lorn Truman Lewis and Madge Widner. He was a graduate of Macon, High School and a member of the Boy Scouts of America and earned his Eagle Scout ranking at the age of 18. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II from 1945-1946.



He earned a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture from the University of Missouri Columbia in 1951 and a masters degree in Field Zoology, also from MU in 1953.





John had a distinguished career spanning 37 years of work as a wildlife research biologist and supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation. John’s pioneering work helped restore the native wild turkey to hunt able populations in the state. His contributions included creating habitats for the native wild turkey for all counties in Missouri. This resulted in the establishment of both fall and spring hunting seasons.





During his career he received many honors and recognitions for his work in research and management of the wild turkey. He was the recipient of the E. Sidney Stephens Professional Award from the Missouri Chapter of the Wildlife Society in 1984, and in 1987 he received the Henry F. Mosby Award from the National Wild Turkey Federation. John was considered the “Father” of the Missouri’s wild turkey program.





John was an avid naturalist, who enjoyed hunting and fishing and also had a love for the game of golf.





John is survived by Nancy Lewis , the love of his life, and his wife of 64 years. He is also survived by their three daughters, Terri, Jerri, and Debbie, six grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.



A celebration of John’s life will be held Saturday, November 11th, from 1-3 pm at the Columbia Country Club 2210 N. Country Club Drive, Columbia, MO 65201. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation and the The Nature Conservancy. To hear John speak about his work on wild turkey restoration a podcast is available through the Conservation Federation of Missouri at confedmo.org