Prosser sculptor Nancy Lewis dies

March 9, 2013 


A longtime Prosser sculptor whose bronze statues are on display at Columbia Basin College in Pasco and several locations in Prosser died this week in Vancouver, Wash..

Nancy Lewis was 90.

Lewis' best-known piece is the life-size bronze statue of Martin Luther King Jr., which was installed on the campus at Columbia Basin College in 1989. It is one of four authorized by the Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation based in Atlanta.

Her other public bronze sculptures are in Prosser and include newspaperman Rich Gay reading the Prosser Record-Bulletin in front of Eric Barnard Depot Square; Edgar E. Whitehead, a Whitstran farmer famous for his apple cider, crouched down holding a shovel in front of the Benton County Courthouse; and a dove at the Methodist church.

The Prosser Public Library commissioned her first public statue, a boy reading a book.

Lewis also created a 9-foot bronze of a fisherman that sits on the shore of Petersburg, a small Alaskan boat harbor, to commemorate the village's Norwegian heritage. This piece was her last work.

She also created many, many smaller pieces that are owned by friends and family.

Her talent was discovered at the age of 10 by a teacher who helped her explore the world of art.

Lewis lived for 40 years on a farm north of Prosser. She died Monday in Vancouver after moving there several years ago to be closer to her daughter.

She and her late husband Donald had four children: Donald (Kathy) Lewis of Prosser; Katherine Lewis of Vancouver; William (Susan) Lewis of Bellingham; and Duncan (Rebecca) Lewis of Seattle.

She is survived by 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1998.

A celebration of her life will be in Prosser at the Seven Gables, 257 N. Wamba Road from 1 to 3 p.m. March 16. Internment will be at the Prosser Cemetery.

Condolences can be sent to P.O. Box 628, Prosser, WA 99350.

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