Because his contributions were so great, highlighted by one remarkable night in the 1977 World Series against the Dodgers, Reggie Jackson became known as "Mr. October." Whenever that name is used, people familiar with baseball recognize its meaning. It could be argued that Harry Lewis has earned the right to be known as "Mr. Johnson City." He has earned that name because of his enormous, selfless contributions to the Village of Johnson City, Johnson City Schools, and the Johnson City athletic department.

Mr. Lewis has literally devoted his life to the service of others. After graduating from Harpursville Central Schools in 1952, Mr. Lewis served in the U.S. Marine Corps for three years. Upon returning to the area, he and his wife Ruth settled in Johnson City to raise their family. A proud IBM employee for 33 years, Mr. Lewis spent most of his free time away from the workplace devoted to supporting youth programs and organizations whose mission was service to others. Mr. Lewis coached little league baseball and youth basketball both in Johnson City and through the IBM Country Club, at which he was the vice president on the board of directors. He was also a Cub Scout leader for 12 years, and he umpired baseball and softball for 25 years. Continuing his association with service organizations, Mr. Lewis is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion, and the local Elks chapter. Mr. Lewis clearly supported people of all ages in a wide variety of ways throughout his life, and the same pattern follows in relation to his contributions to Johnson City.

Quite simply, Mr. Lewis’ leadership can be attributed to the success of Johnson City institutions that literally would not have existed if not for his level of commitment. Each Labor Day weekend, thousands of visitors from throughout Broome County and beyond come to Johnson City to celebrate the unofficial end of summer at the Field Days. Mr. Lewis served on the Johnson City Celebrations Committee, the organization responsible for the Field Days and several other Johnson City events, for over 30 years. His most prominent role within the village was serving as a trustee and its mayor for 18 years from 1991 – 2009. Finally, Mr. Lewis made his mark on the Johnson City School District by being a co-founder of its athletic booster club in the early 1970s. For the past 40+ years, the athletic boosters would support Johnson City’s student athletes in a wide variety of ways, including providing teams with financial assistance that far exceeded what could be given from the athletic department budget. And just as he has done throughout his life, Mr. Lewis never sat on the sidelines in his role with any organization he supported, including the athletic booster club. Fans of Johnson City Football from the 70s, 80s and 90s can surely remember Mr. Lewis making his way through the crowd to sell 50/50 tickets to raise funds for the booster club. Thousands of Johnson City student-athletes have received the support of the athletic booster club over the years thanks to Mr. Lewis’ initiative, leadership and commitment to service.

For all that he has contributed to others throughout his life, it should be noted that Mr. Lewis’ proudest achievement is that he and his wife are the parents of seven children who all graduated from Johnson City. In a time when it seems that it is becoming more and more difficult to find those willing to give of their time for others, we need to look no further than the example Mr. Lewis set to find inspiration for service. Because of his lifelong commitment to the village and its residents, and to the school district and its student athletes, the Johnson City Athletic Hall of Fame is proud to welcome "Mr. Johnson City," Harry Lewis.

 

 

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