Lewis Shropshire Jr.
Lewis Hill Shropshire, Jr., of Athens, Georgia, went to be with his Lord on Friday, November 23, 2018. He was born in Cartersville, Georgia, and was the oldest of three children of the late Lewis Hill Shropshire, Sr. and Dorothy Pettit Shropshire.
Lewis made Athens his home by attending the University of Georgia, where he earned his BBA and MBA degrees. His first job out of college was with Westinghouse, but he found his life’s career at Benson‘s, Inc in 1967 in the Human Resources Department. He was promoted in 1970 to General Manager of the new Holiday Inn. In a 2011 Board recognition of Lewis’ contributions to the local community, the Board of Directors of Benson’s, Inc. noted regarding this new promotion, “…though he had no experience, he did have a willingness to roll up his sleeves and work hard.” He gained great experience, and his work ethic would serve him well throughout his 44 years of work with Benson’s, Inc, where he served as President of Motel Enterprises.
The fruit of his willingness to take on hard work became his legacy to the Athens community. He was councilman for the Third Ward between 1976 and 1985, serving part of that time as Mayor Pro Tem. Even as he worked full time, served on the City Council, and raised a family he continued to contribute to the Athens community through the generous giving of his time and energy. Lewis was a founding member and past President of the Classic City Rotary Club where he was a Paul Harris Fellow. He also served actively on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Athens, United Way of Northeast Georgia Athens, Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, Lanier Garden/Talmage Terrace, the Classic Center Authority, Athens Toastmasters, Georgia Hospitality and Lodging Association and the Athens Area Community Foundation. He was an active member of Athens First Baptist Church and he also attended the Darien United Methodist Church, where he and Pam were married.
Lewis was a Board Member of his beloved Thompson Farm. In summers, he and Pam moved temporarily to the affectionately named “Trabin” (trailer cabin) on the lake where they spent balmy summer evenings fishing, tending to his classic cars, gardening and making the trabin their home. As he tended to do everywhere, Lewis became a treasured asset to the community. He also actively served on the Board of Settlers Bluff Condominium Association in Darien, Georgia.
His love of Athens was symbolized by his love of the Georgia Bulldogs (“Go Dawgs!”) of whom he was the most ardent supporter. He was a member of Gridiron. He loved his alma mater, and all it represented. On game day, people around the University of Georgia campus looked for the familiar sight of the bright-red 1928 Ford Phaeton; UGA flag flying, often with a carload of grandchildren in tow, greeting fans with the traditional “ooga” sound of the horn as he paraded his pride around campus. As deep as was his work ethic, his understanding of living life to the fullest was just as deep. He and Pam traveled extensively. His many hobbies included collecting and showing classic cars, motorcycle riding, traveling, and hunting and fishing.
His love of hunting and fishing were reflected in his membership in the THA Hunting Club at Groton Plantation and his annual trip with friends to Yakutat, Alaska to fish for salmon and halibut, which he generously shared with friends and family.
Lewis’ passion for antique cars led to his involvement with the Athens Chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America (“AACA”). On the national level of AACA, he and Pam were ranked “master judges” for their involvement in judging antique automobiles throughout the Eastern United States. Other car club involvement included the Model A Ford Club of America and the Mercedes Benz Club of America/Peachtree Section.
Lewis was an avid runner for decades. As recently as October 2018 he came in first place in his age class in the AthHalf, a race he has run since its inception. He has run the Peachtree Road Race for 36 consecutive years.
He had many joys in his life; spending time with his grandchildren, watching his own children growing into happy, productive adults; but his greatest joy was his wife, Pam. Together they wove a life in Athens full of friends and family, establishing themselves as indispensable members of the community, near and far. In Pam he had a partnership which allowed each to live every second of their lives without regret. He will be missed beyond measure.
He is survived by his wife Pamela B. Shropshire of Athens, his younger sister Diane Shropshire Mooney and preceded in death by his younger brother William Benjamin Shropshire, both of Cartersville. He is also survived by his daughters Kelly Shropshire Spratt and her husband Jeff Spratt, of Cartersville, Oh Soon Shropshire of Durango, CO and Shannon Shropshire, and her husband Arthur Pringle, also both of Durango, and step-sons David Harris of Bishop and Brian Harris of Athens. He is affectionately known as “Papa Lewis” to his seven grandchildren Hannah Spratt, Hank Spratt, Dixon Shropshire, Rabun Shropshire, Blake Harris, Kaitlyn Harris, and Claire Harris. His very special nephews are Clay, Adam (and Betsy) and Lance Mooney, all of Cartersville, Georgia.
Visitation will take place Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at Bernstein Funeral Home at 3195 Atlanta Highway Athens, GA 30606 between the hours of 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A Celebration of his life will take place at the First Baptist Church of Athens on Wednesday, November 28 at 3:00 p.m. followed by a reception at the Holiday Inn from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Shropshire Family Fund at the Athens Area Community Foundation, PO Box 1543, Athens, Georgia 30603.
Online condolences may be made at bernsteinfuneralhome.com Bernstein Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.