About Frances Anne Lewis (Leary)
LEWIS Dr. FRANCES ANNE LEARY LEWIS "Fay" April 12, 1943 - September 25, 2010 "Where shall we see a better daughter, or kinder sister, or a truer friend?" Dr. Frances Anne "Fay" Leary Lewis entered this world at Washingtons Gallinger Hospital, where her father was doing his surgical residency, and departed it in her Jonquil Ave. home, with her beloved husband of 27 years, Ambassador Arthur W. Lewis, her baby sister, Margaret Elizabeth "Peggy" Leary Wyman of Marblehead MA and some of her longtime friends at her side. Fay was thus surrounded by love at the beginning and the end of her journey through life, and, as was reconfirmed by the scores of well-wishers and visitors during her final fight against a brain tumor, throughout her more than 67 years in this world. A pioneer in the field of African Studies, Fay graduated from Smith College in 1964 with a B.A. in History and then earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in African Studies at Northwestern University. Her 1969 doctoral dissertation, "Islam, Politics, and Colonialism: A Political History of Islam in the Casamance Region of Senegal" was the first of her landmark field studies in Senegal, Morocco, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and other African nations. Dr. Lewis subsequently taught African and Mid-East History at Temple University and at Northwestern. She was also a lecturer at Georgetown Universitys School of Foreign Service and at the Department of States Foreign Service Institute. From 1977 through 1981, Dr Lewis was the Chair of the (U.S.) Association of African Studies Programs. In 1980 and 1981 she was the Co-Chair of the Task Force on African Languages & International Studies of the National Council on Foreign Languages and International Studies. From 1980 to 1982 Dr. Lewis was the USIAs Branch Chief for the Fulbright Program with Africa. Shortly after her 1983 marriage to Mr. Lewis, he was appointed by President Reagan as the United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone. During the Lewiss three years at the Freetown, Sierra Leone embassy, Dr. Lewis served as a consultant to both UNICEF and UNDP, a lecturer at the University of Sierra Leones Fourah Bay College, and an International Training Specialist for USAID in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Ivory Coast. Dr. Lewis spent her last 22 years in Washington as a Program Officer at Meridian International Center, where she worked on the State Departments International Visitor Leadership Program, arranging for promising young Africans and visitors from around the world to receive educational programs about the United States on topics such as intellectual property rights, human rights, conflict resolution, politics, and governance. "Fay had a unique ability not only to mentor young people interested in pursuing careers in international relations, but also, through her wide range of personal contacts across the country, to arrange programs for foreign visitors that added an important dimension to their American experience by enabling them to meet and talk with Americans in similar professions in their homes and communities as well as at their workplaces," recalled Meridian Vice-President Susan Cabiati. Meridian is naming the area of its garden where Dr. Lewis, an inspiration and mentor to her associates, convened daily luncheon sessions as "Fays Cafe," with a special bench dedicated to her memory. Ms. Cabiati also noted that "Fay and Art did wonders for international understanding on a very personal basis by opening their Washington home to visitors from Africa, providing them with friendship, hospitality, advice, and comfort when necessary." Dr. Lewis was the oldest of the five children of Dr. and Mrs. Theodore Moreau Leary. In addition to Ambassador Lewis and Mrs. Wyman, Fay is survived by her three brothers, Theodore M. Leary Jr. and Richard M. Leary, both of Los Angeles, CA and Kevin R. Leary of Gloucester MA; a stepdaughter, Dale Wentz of Chicago, IL; as well as three nieces, three nephews, three step-grandchildren, one step-great-grandchild, and hundreds of friends and associates around the world. Dr. Lewis will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be determined. Dr. Lewiss family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Dr. Fay Lewis Memorial Fund at Africare, 440 R. St. NW, Washington, DC 20001.
Published in The Washington Post on October 3, 2010 - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?n=frances-a-l-lewis&pid=145768801#fbLoggedOut