Ruth Estelle Bowser Lewis

Published 11:09 am Sunday, March 22, 2020

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Ruth Estelle Bowser Lewis, 81, of Manteo, died March 18, 2020 at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital surrounded by her family.

Ruth was born on October 26, 1938 to Hazel Pearl Scarborough (deceased) and Lloyd Meekins Sr. (deceased) in Manteo. She had three siblings Lloyd Meekins Jr. (deceased), Thelma Thrash (deceased) and Ethel Bowser of Manteo.

On December 23, 1976 Ruth married the love of her life Clarence Lewis and began her world travels. During her travels as a military spouse, she had the opportunity to work all over the world, including setting up the Kitty Concern daycare in Hanau, Germany and providing services for families as a social worker in Hawaii.

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She started the Economic Improvement Council in Manteo. When she returned to Dare County after living away, Ruth was hired as the first African American social worker in Dare County and helped to set up the daycare at the Presbyterian Church. She also spent some time as a corrections officer at Pasquotank County Correctional Facility.

In recent years, she started her business Baking House on the Corner (Native Born & Bread). She enjoyed baking for others, spending time with her family, competing in the senior games and reading her Bible.  She was a member of the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary, Order of the Eastern Star and the Golden Circle. She was an ordained minister.

She was the Salutatorian of her high school class and returned to college in her 50s. Twenty-nine years ago, she took on the mantle of spearheading the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration and took joy in helping others understand the work of Dr. King.

In her later years, she battled cancer twice and won.

Ruth was preceded in death by daughter Ella Planter. She is survived by her husband Clarence Lewis, daughters Wanda Muhammad, Anjelica Lewis and Michelle Lewis, sons Alton Tillett Jr. (Nicole S. Tillett) and Michael Lewis (Eva R. Lewis), eight grandchildren (Tashia, Derrick, Frederick, Monica, Timothy, Marcel, Ayman and Tauheedah), and a host of great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Cards and condolences can be sent to 514 Sir Walter Raleigh Street, Manteo, N.C. 27954.

Funeral arrangements are forthcoming.

Twiford Funeral Homes, Outer Banks is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and memories can be shared at