Clarksville, Ark. --- Marie Baskin Lewis of Clarksville has made a substantial financial commitment to the University of the Ozarks' Raymond Munger Chapel in memory of her late husband, Jimmy Lewis. The gift will establish the Jimmy Lewis Memorial Chapel Preservation Endowment Fund.
<#IMAGE:1#>In a special announcement on Oct. 3 during the university’s weekly chapel service, U of O President Dr. Rick Niece praised Jimmy and Marie Lewis for their lifetime support of the university. Jimmy and Marie were both 1941 Ozarks graduates who met at the university and were married for 60 years before Jimmy died in 2002. Their wedding ceremony took place in the Chapel in 1942. “Marie, I extend the deepest appreciation from the board of trustees and from the entire campus community for your caring support of our university,” Niece said. “Jimmy and you have always been, and will always be, special blessings to this campus.” Niece also announced that the Munger Chapel’s chancel area will be dedicated “to the glory of God in loving memory of Mr. Jimmy Lewis, and in honor of Mrs. Marie Baskin Lewis.” Jimmy and Marie Lewis owned and operated the J. Lewis Chevrolet, Olds Motor Company in Clarksville for more than 30 years. Jimmy was a trustee of the university from 1983 to 1990 and then was named a lifetime member of the board. As a teenager growing up in Clarksville, Jimmy delivered water to the workers who were building Munger Chapel, which was completed in 1933. “Those of us who had the privilege of knowing Jimmy remember him as an absolutely delightful person whose smile lit up any room he entered,” Niece said. “He was a tireless and enthusiastic supporter of all things Ozarks, and the quality of his service to the entire Clarksville community was equally as outstanding. He was a true difference-maker.” Munger Chapel, which will celebrate its 75th year in existence in 2008, is listed on the National Registry of Historical Sites.