Nature 28

Walter Edgar Lewis

September 17, 1940 ~ January 16, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old

Walter Edgar Lewis Obituary

Walter Edgar Lewis, 83, died in his Gautier, MS home Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024. He was preceded in death by his parents, Genevieve and George Lewis and his brothers, George, Jr. and Robert Lewis. Walter, who held the title in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Longest Living Quadriplegic, would not want to be remembered as a quadriplegic, though he was proud of his International title. Rather, he would want his legacy to be as an excellent bridge player, teacher, director, Platinum Life Master (which denotes over 10,000 master points), friend, and humorist.

Walter's perspective on a life that could be challenging at times was inspirational to all who knew him. When approached by a new acquaintance who would inevitably want to shake his hand, he always quipped, “They don’t work, but how are you?” He wished others to be at ease around him and was an excellent conversationalist. Despite his physical challenges, he always had a smile on his face and was quick-witted with a remarkable sense of humor. Paralyzed in a car accident in 1959 on the way back to Ole Miss for his sophomore year, Walter went to a rehabilitation center and then returned to his home on Front Street in Pascagoula. It was at this time that he began playing bridge regularly, and his mother and her friends accepted him in their bridge circle. Walter and his mother traveled to local tournaments winning awards, new friends, and the respect of all who met him. He quickly rose from being a casual “rubber bridge player” to an award-winning duplicate bridge Master.

Over the years Walter became quite active in the bridge world along the Gulf Coast, even having served as president of the Unit. He played with novices as well as nationally-ranked players, treating them all with kindness and respect. Many a bridge player on the Gulf Coast owes their enthusiasm and knowledge of the game to Walter. Though confined to a wheelchair, he managed to play bridge not only in clubs along the Coast but also with others online. With the help of his cousins, he was able to use a computer to play with people all over the world. This opened up countless game opportunities all the way up until a few weeks before his death when he was still winning much-coveted Master Points.

Walter Edgar Lewis is survived by two sisters: Marie Carnes (Tom Williams), Holden Beach, NC, and Genevieve Lewis, Ocean Springs, MS and a host of family and friends who will forever cherish the memory of his smile and laughter.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Walter on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 11:00am, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Gautier, MS with Rev. Arochia Doss officiating. Visitation will from10:00-11:00 a.m.. There will be a reception following in the church activity center. In lieu of flowers, donation may be sent to Singing River Foundation Hospice of Light Fund, O’Bryant-O’Keefe Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. You may send condolences to his family or share a memory on the Tribute Wall.   

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January 24, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Mary s Catholic Church

Memorial Mass
January 24, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Mary s Catholic Church


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