Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Michael Lewis Obituary (1953 – 2022) – Santa Maria, CA

MichaelJames Lewis
May 25, 1953 – May 9, 2022
Santa Maria, California – Michael Lewis was born in Quebec City, Canada, on May 25,1953. He was adopted by Seth and Patricia Lewis from Albuquerque, New Mexico, who later settled in Thousand Oaks, California. He graduated from Chaminade Preparatory High School and attended New Mexico State University.
Mike met his soulmate, Nora McDermott, in Farmington, New Mexico, where he was building a retirement home for a friend. Nora was working as a nurse-midwife with Indian Health Services in Shiprock, New Mexico, and volunteered to help with the framing. Soon after she returned to California, they were married on Valentine’s Day at the Santa Barbara Court House in 1981. They moved to Nipomo in 1982.
After they settled in Nipomo, Mike started Mike Lewis Construction and was known for the outstanding quality of his custom homes. He later founded AC&E Support Services and specialized in construction estimating for architectural firms and government agencies. He was known for his highly detailed and accurate estimates, thanks to his building experience and the estimating program he wrote in 1991, using a database program. This database was later revised by his sister-in-law, which Mike fine-tuned to his customers’ benefit.
Mike was a natural leader. In addition to his reputation in the construction business, he also served in the Civil Air Patrol. He devised Search and Rescue exercises for the California Wing and the Pacific Region, worked with cadets, participated in numerous search and rescue missions, and made lasting friends with fellow CAP members. He graduated from Air War College and retired as Lieutenant Colonel, after 20 years of volunteer service with CAP.
Throughout his construction career and his role in the CAP, Mike also maintained a close connection with the community. He was a member of the Santa Maria Elks lodge number 1538 for over 40 years.
One of Mike’s many passions was his love of trains, which had originally been kindled by his grandfather, a shop superintendent for the Santa Fe Railroad. He loved volunteering at the Nevada Northern Railroad, where he was working on an apprenticeship as a brakeman. Another passion was the restoration of two 1968 Cushion Flight Hovercrafts. He loved to travel, and he understood the importance of not waiting until retirement to visit many exotic and exciting destinations. Mike and Nora went on wildlife expeditions to Antarctica, Galapagos Islands, Central America (including Cocos Island), the South Pacific, New Zealand, and northern Scotland.
Mike was a wonderful husband, loyal to his many friends and always willing to lend a hand to help others. He will be sorely missed.
Mike was predeceased by his parents, Pat and Seth Lewis, his sister Bernadette Rivier, and his aunt RoseMarie Clark. He is survived by his heartbroken spouse, Nora, her sister, Maureen McDermott, and the lights of his life, his nephews, Jesse Gunter and Thorsteinn Gunter, as well as grandnieces and a grandnephew.
A private interment will be in Los Alamos Cemetery and a Celebration of Life is planned for later in the summer. Donations can be made in his memory to: Nevada Northern Railroad 1100 Ave A, Ely, Nevada 89301 (nnry.com) and Civil Air Patrol through their website at gocivilairpatrol.com
Arrangements are in the care of Magner-Maloney Funeral Home and Crematory. Sympathy notes and words of support may be expressed at www.magnermaloney.com.

Published by & from May 21 to May 22, 2022.

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