Obituary: Dr. Richard Lewis, ADA Member for 41 Years

by Billy Tarpley on July 12, 2018

Richard Lewis

Dr. Richard H. Lewis, age 70, died Tuesday, July 10, 2018, at his home in Little Rock following a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

He leaves his wife of 44 years, Emily (Matson) Lewis; his daughter Addie Lewis Klein (Craig); son Jacob Lewis (Darci); daughter Mimi Lewis (Daniel Wolf), and four grandchildren, Hersh, Alte Luna, Isaac and Sender. He is predeceased by his parents, Helen (Maisel) and Nathan Lewis, of Brooklyn, New York, and his brother Eytan “Steve” Lewis of Long Island, New York.

After a successful career of high school athletics in Brooklyn, New York, Richard followed his brother to Haverford College in suburban Philadelphia, where he soon met an Arkansan attending neighboring Bryn Mawr College. A whirlwind seven-year courtship followed.

Richard and Emily married in the backyard of the Matson family home, which twenty years later became their own home.

After earning his BA from Haverford College, he went onto earn an Mphil in micro-biology from George Washington University and a DMD from the University of Pennsylvania. Following his fellowship in dentistry, he and Emily moved from Philadelphia to Little Rock with their three-week old daughter to start a new life and a new dental practice.

He was the first dentist in Maumelle, Arkansas, and ran Lewis Family Dentistry (now Maumelle Family Dentistry) for over thirty-five years. In his early career, he was involved in the Arkansas State Dental Association.

He found his true community and spent most of his volunteer efforts in the Little Rock Jewish community. He is a past-president of Congregation B’nai Israel, a past-president of the Jewish Federation of Arkansas, a past board member of the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ), and past chair of URJ Jacobs Camp in Utica, Mississippi. He will be remembered in the Jewish community for his creative problem solving, energetic leadership and insightful comments.

By his family he will be remembered for his ability to order at restaurants for the whole crowd, and for his excellent advice, whether you wanted to hear it or not.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Congregation B’nai Israel, and that you floss daily.

There will be a memorial service on Friday, July 13th at 11:30 am at Congregation B’nai Israel, 3700 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72212. Shiva will begin at the Lewis family home at 7:00 pm on Saturday, July 14th.

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