Harold John Lewis (24 Nov 1926 - 24 Jul 2018)
In loving memory of Harold John Lewis who sadly passed away on 24th July 2018
In many ways Harold Lewis was a self-made man.
Born on the 24th of September 1926 in Pontypridd, Harold would grow up to be a man with a strong work ethic, often working shifts at night and back-to-back in order to provide for his family. He also applied this work ethic to self-education and improvement, gaining professional qualifications at the then Glamorgan Technical College - an institution which he first entered as a part time student, and ended working as a lecturer.
He would meet his wife to be, Cynthia, in Pontypridd, courting her by taking her out for a walk on the common and then for tea in the Royal Cafe. Following Cynthia’s death 18 months ago, after 68 years of marriage, Harold took this journey along the mountain once more, to remember that first encounter and the beginning of a relationship that would last a lifetime.
Harold also had a love of languages, which he learned in his spare time. Through this interest, Harold kept in touch with a number of pen-pals in France and Belgium, and he and his wife Cynthia would regularly travel to meet them over the years.
Last year, Harold was able to take one final journey to France, and take the opportunity to visit his pen-pals one final time. This would be a poignant and emotional experience for both them and him.
Harold was a caring husband, and looked after Cynthia at home for several years as she struggled with dementia. When she was moved to the care home, Harold would still visit her every day, without fail, no matter the weather, and even when his own health was beginning to deteriorate. He would always say that it was never a chore, it was just what he wanted to do.
As a father, Harold is remembered as someone who always had time for his girls. Gwen remembers the father who would throw her high up into the air just to make her laugh - and despite the warnings of his workmates, he never did drop her. Later on, Jennifer had the opportunity to teach him how to drive a car - a process he found strange, his daughter teaching him, not the other way around, but they had a lot of fun. Both of his daughters have fond memories of him taking them out on motorbike and sidecar at weekends and on holidays.
Harold was a man who valued his family, staying in touch and visiting his relatives across the country, and enjoying the time they were able to spend together. Regular Sunday lunches with the family were also important to him, giving him the opportunity to spend time time with his growing family.
Harold was very proud of all his grandchildren Michael, Katie, James, Samantha, Tammika, as well as all his great-grandchildren Holly and Gabrial and great-great grandson Oliver.
Throughout his life, Harold was a fiercely independent man. In his later years with his bus pass, we would love galavanting around - sometimes just getting on a bus and going to visit wherever it happened to be going.
Many of those who knew Harold in life will remember him as a gent, and a lovely man, always stopping to speak to people and ask how they were. Nothing would give him more pleasure than giving someone a helping hand. For him, a smile and a chat made the world a better place in which to live.