Letter to the editor: Working with Pappy at Woodward water plant

Donald "Pappy" Lewis, in orange, greeted a host of young visitors visitors to the Perry Health Care Center during the annual PHS Volunteer Day in 2016.

To the editor:

Dec. 16, 1977, was the first day I met Pappy Lewis. It was then I became an operator at the Woodward Resource Center water plant. I worked every other weekend, and Pappy worked every weekend along with the second operator.

Part of Pappy’s job was to fill the feeders with 80-pound bags of lime and 50-pound bags of alum. He could look at gauge and know when the water towers were getting full.

He was very fit as he rode his bike out to his job everyday. On bad days, his neighbor Leonard Potter would drive him out to campus.

Pappy did love Johnny Cash as he had a cassette that played endlessly throughout the day!

He got his name early in his days at the “institution,” where he had three or four residents who called him Pappy.

I always a good time working with Pappy. He will be missed by many when passing by his home at Pearl Valley, and Perry won’t be the same. RIP Pappy Lewis.

Jon Wilson


  1. Pappy Lewis is now a legend. Long before the “bottle bill” and redemption centers, there was Pappy Lewis. He could be seen riding his three wheeler all about Woodward, especially south of town along Highway 210. Realizing he was on the lookout for cans and bottles, I would save my empties for him. Spotting him along the shoulder,, I would slow down, roll my window down, and sound my horn. As I slowly approached him, I would heave an empty twelve pack out the window. Pappy would wave wildly and have the biggest grin on his face. Yes, I remember Pappy and breaking the law by my littering. Heaven will be a tidier place with Pappy around. All of us have a niche to fill, no matter how humble. Blessings, Pappy.


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