Lewis “Lew” Gordon Vasey, born September 7, 1938, in East Prairie, Missouri. He passed away Tuesday, November 6, 2018, at Forks Community Hospital surrounded by loved ones after a valiant battle with lung cancer. Lew was a long time resident of Forks and was lovingly known by many as “Grandpa”.
Lewis is survived by his beloved bride, Barbara, and three children: Cheryl (David) Timmons, Lewis Gordon Vasey JR, and Wendy (Jay) Dickerson. Lewis is also survived by nine grandchildren, including his eldest grandchild whom he raised from the age of 11, Layla (Steven) Unger. He was proud to have three great-granddaughters.
Lewis is preceded in death by his parents, John M. Vasey and Opal I. Gordon as well as his cherished wife of 22 years, Vernadene and his first-born child, Deborah (Joseph) Rawls.
Lewis loved the Lord and was very active within his church, serving on the Church Board of Forks Church of the Nazarene. Lew He was a proud member and Officer of VFW Post 9106. Lew was a hard worker, compassionate giver, lover of reading and history, traveling, woodworking, deep conversations, and a good joke. During his later years, he and his wife, Barbara enjoyed traveling back and forth to Barbara’s home in Vancouver, British Columbia. While they spent half their year in Vancouver, they attended First Baptist Church (Vancouver) and Lewis thoroughly enjoyed participating in the North Shore Bible study group where he met many new friends.
Lew joined the United States Army at the age of 19. After basic training, he completed Basic Airborne School and Special Forces Selection and Assessment course, for which he was selected. After the vigorous Special Forces Qualification Course, he served three tours in the Vietnam War as a Green Beret. Lew served his country all over the world with various duty positions in Southeast Asia and in Germany. Lewis was awarded several awards for valorous and meritorious achievement including The National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, The Army Commendation Medal, The Joint Service Commendation Medal, three Purple Hearts, The Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Soldiers Medal, which is the Army highest award for Valor in a non-combat zone. Lewis retired from the Army as a First Sergeant after 23 years of service, but he wasn’t done serving. He continued to serve his country as an advisor to Saudi Arabia, training their special forces troops for eight and a half years. Lewis was the epitome of what it is to be a Soldier and exemplified the phrase of “Be, Know, Do”
A memorial service for Lew will be held on Saturday, November 17, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. at the Forks Church of the Nazarene. A military presentation and potluck will follow the service at Lewis and Barbara’s home, 313 Elk Valley Road.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks that donations be made in Lew’s name to Thru the Bible, P.O. Box 7100, Pasadena, CA 91109 and/or The Church of the Nazarene, P O Box 2240, Forks, WA 98331.