Rhea Hampton Lewis, 91, went to rest peacefully with his daughter by his side on January 5, 2018. Rhea, was a resident of Gig Harbor, Washington for the past three years moving from Brunswick, Georgia, his home town where he was born and raised by his parents Wade Hampton & Nannie Rhea Lewis with his sisters Hilda Mae & Fay Lewis Dunham who predeceased him, and Linda Lewis Jungers.
Rhea is a Graduate of Glynn Academy, and served in the Navy from 1944 to 1946 in World War II, assigned to the USS LCS (L)(3) in the Pacific campaign. He was also chosen to participate in early live atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons following VJ Day. Rhea was called upon to serve again in 1950 to 1951 during the Korean War where his assignment was on the U.S.S. Walker(DDE-517) as a Gunner’s Mate Second Class.
Following discharge from the Navy, Rhea attended South Georgia College for 2 years. He was a Credit Manager for several years and then General Manager for a Lincoln/Mercury new car dealership in Savannah, Georgia till his retirement.
Rhea was always an ardent fan of history and this included a strong interest in family genealogy, an interest he pursued especially in retirement. His corny and sometimes risqué jokes were a staple of any family gathering. One of the things he enjoyed all his life and right down to the last moments was his music; the big bands, Jimmy Dorsey & his Orchestra and of course Frank Sinatra.
Survivors include his daughter, Rhonda Gail Schwab and husband Christopher Smith, of Gig Harbor, WA; a son Rhea Hampton Lewis Jr., Brunswick, Ga; his sister Linda Lewis Jungers and husband Charles Jungers of St. Simons Island, Ga.; Grandson’s Garrett Troy Schwab, Jeromy Lewis, Allan Lewis, and granddaughter Shilo Lewis and several nieces and nephews.
Rhea will be placed to rest with his loving wife Elaine-Annick. Services will be held at Beaufort National Cemetery at a later date
Remembrances: Hospice in your local area.