Ben Elden Lewis

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Ben Elden Lewis

Birthdate: (91)
Birthplace: Mesa, Maricopa, AZ, USA
Death: October 20, 2005 (91)
Immediate Family:

Son of George William Lewis and Olena Dorthea Lewis
Husband of Barbara Rae Lewis
Father of <private> Lewis; <private> Lewis; <private> Lewis; <private> Turner (Lewis) and <private> Lewis
Brother of Anna Martha Evans; George Kempe Lewis; Ora Wilson; Wiliam Crismon Lewis; Ruth Peterson and 1 other

Managed by: Randy Stebbing
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Ben Elden Lewis


Thank Ben Lewis if you have ever sat in one of the 65,000 seats in Lavell Edwards Stadium or in one of the 22,700 seats in the Marriott Center. The key athletic-administrative link, Ben had the financial vision that made construction of these showcase athletic arenas possible. Ben contributed to the success of the athletic department through behind-the-scenes help in acquiring funds, facilities, and grants for the athletic program.

"His foresight, leadership, and dedication have helped to provide some of the finest athletic facilities in our nation," said Stan Watts, former BYU basketball coach, athletic director, and supervisor of Western Athletic Conference basketball officials. Ben assisted in planning, obtaining board approval, and making financial arrangements not only for Cougar Stadium and the Marriott Center but also for the Richards Building, racquetball courts, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, annex for the George Albert Smith Fieldhouse, baseball field, lighted tennis courts and playing fields, restrooms and additional seating in the old stadium, hiring of athletic personnel, and forming of the Cougar Club. Ben is an avid supporter of the BYU athletic teams. Besides regularly attending athletic events, he almost daily uses the university's athletic facilities, particularly the racquetball courts, swimming pools, sauna, and shower and dressing facilities.

He was president of the student body at BYU, and he has also received an honorary doctorate degree from the university. Before he became employed at BYU in 1952, he was a budget and procedures officer at the National Housing Agency in Washington, D.C., and then budget director for the Marriott Corporation headquartered there.

During his years of service at BYU, he has been director of Auxiliary Services, vice president of Business Affairs, chair of the BYU Master Planning Committee, chair of the Major Gifts Committee of the Excellence in the Eighties $100 Million Campaign, and executive vice president from 1969 until 1979, when he retired. Always active in the Church, he has served as a stake president, regional representative of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, member of the Sunday School General Board, and mission president (in England).

Ben is married to Barbara Rae Wootton, and they are the parents of three boys, two girls, and three foster children.



I was born in Mesa, Arizona, on November 6, 1913, in the family home east of town. My parents were GEORGE William Lewis and Olena DOROTHEA KEMPE LEWIS. I had three sisters-ANNA, ORA, and RUTH- three brothers-George K., W. CRISMON, and Walter M.

The first five years of my live were spent in Mesa. Then for a year the family moved to Provo, Utah, where I attended the first grade in the BYU Training School. We returned to the ranch in Mesa, and then later, when my father was called to serve a full-time mission at the Temple Block in Salt Lake City, I went with the family to make my home there I attended grade school in the Emerson School, and later the Roosevelt Junior High School. When my father was released from his mission, we resumed to Mesa, where I attended the Franklin School and the Mesa Union High School.

My father suffered a severe stroke which affected him so he could not speak. The family returned to Salt Lake City and there I completed high school at the LDS High School and then attended the LDS Business College at the age of 15. I went to work as a messenger boy in the Utah Savings Bank in Salt Lake City and worked there as a bookkeeper, then a teller for five years, at which time I was called to serve a mission in the Northern States, with Chicago as the headquarters.

Following the mission, I attended BYU for four years and graduated with a BS Degree in Banking and Finance I worked during my four years of college at the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Provo. I attended the University of Denver on a fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and graduated with a Master's Degree in Government management. I was employed first as a member of an accounting consultant firm to design an accounting system for the state of Illinois. Later, at the start of World War II, I worked for the Bureau of Labor Statistics out of the Denver office making rent and price surveys throughout the states of Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico. Then I moved to Washington, DC , where I was employed with the National Housing Agency Office of the Administrator. I served here during World War II, following which I went to work for the Hot Shoppes Restaurants (later called the Marriott Corporation) as the Budget Director and in charge of advertising and sales promotion. In 1952, I returned to Provo, Utah, to accept employment at BYU. In recent years, up to the present time (May, 1978), I have served as Executive Vice President at the University.

In Scouting as a youngster I received the rank of Eagle Scout. I served as Assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, Field Representative in Washington, DC., Chairman of the Provo District, and was recipient of the Silver Beaver Award. All five of our sons are Eagle Scouts. I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from BYU. For many years I was an active member of the Provo Kiwanis Club I sewed for a number of years on the Provo Planning Commission.

BARBARA RAE WOOTON LEWIS was born in Smuggler, Ouray County, Colorado on December 28, 1920. Smuggler was a gold mining town. Her father was Lorenzo Attewall Wootton, an electrician in a mine at Telluride, Colorado. Her mother was THELMA ELIZABETH Ahlwiler.

She attended elementary school in Heber, Utah, which is situated 27 miles northeast of Provo. She attended 7th through 12th grade at Wasatch High School, and attended BYU for two years.

I have been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all my life and have served in the following positions: President of Aaronic Priesthood quorums; president of a Seventy's quorum; ward MIA superintendent; second and first counselor in the Washington Ward bishopric; high council member in the Washington, Sharon, and East Sharon Stakes; President of the Sharon East Stake; Regional Representative of the Twelve.

My wife and family are the most important part of my life. I was married to BARBARA RAE WOOTTON of Heber City, Utah, in the Salt Lake Temple on October 4, 1944. Five children were born to our family: LINDA JEAN, STEPHEN WOOTTON, JAMES WOOTTON, MARY ANN, JOHN Wooton.

When my sister, Ora, and her husband, Clifford Wilson, passed away, their three children, LEWIS, LOUISE, and GREGORY, became part of our family. These latter three are married. As of this writing, none of our own children are married. All eight of them have attended BYU, six of them having graduated from there. Our son, John, after attending BYU one year, currently is serving in the Japan Fukuoka Mission. Currently we have seven grandchildren. For the past 26 years we have made our home in Provo, Utah.

Barbara won spelling and times tables contests in grade school and high schools played violin in orchestra and clarinet in Band; danced in operas and programs: was vice president of student-body in 1938-39; but ended her musical career, she says when she contracted rheumatic fever in her sophomore year.

She has held many Church positions: Primary Teacher, MIA 2nd counselor, Primary president, Relief Society 2nd counselor, and visiting teacher after her marriage while in Washington, D.C. Also, after returning to Utah: Primary president and teacher, 2nd counselor in Relief Society, mutual teacher, visiting teacher, Relief Society Mother Education teacher, and Relief Society Homemaking leader.

She reports that Ben Lewis proposed she join the Lewis clan in July of 1944. They made the leap on October 4, 1944 and honeymooned via Church historical spots, plus Niagara Falls, New York.

She is the mother of five children: Linda Jean, born December 30, 1946, in Washington, D.C., Stephen Wootton Lewis, born February 15, 1950, in Washington, D.C, James Wooton, born December 30, 1952, in Provo, Utah, Mary Ann, born October 27, 1954 in Provo, Utah; and John Wootton, born October 3. 1957, in Provo, Utah.

Barbara worked as a car hop during her high school years in Heber, Utah. At the time she met her husband, she was working at the FBI in Washington, D.C. (1939-1944).

SOURCE: John Moss Lewis Family History. Section 7. Page 37.


Ex-BYU v.p. Ben Lewis, 'Bow Tie Ben,' dies at 91

PROVO -- Former Brigham Young University vice president Ben Elden Lewis, well known as "Bow Tie Ben" around campus, has died. He was 91.

Lewis died at his home Thursday. He helped BYU get the funding to build the Marriott Center arena and expand the school's football stadium to 65,000 seats.

"His foresight, leadership and dedication helped to provide some of the finest athletic facilities in our nation," former BYU basketball coach Stan Watts said.

Lewis' fund-raising efforts also helped BYU, his alma mater, to build racquetball courts, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, an annex for the George Albert Smith Fieldhouse, lighted playing fields and the forming of the Cougar Club.

Lewis was student body president in 1940 when he graduated from BYU. He returned to the school in 1952, serving as an administrator for 27 years, ultimately as executive vice president. He was awarded an honorary doctor of business degree in 1970 and a BYU presidential citation in 2001.

SOURCE: Deseret News (Salt Lake City), Oct 24, 2005 by Associated Press


Name: Ben E. Lewis

SSN: 528-10-6135

Last Residence: 84604 Provo, Utah, Utah

Born: 6 Nov 1913

Died: 20 Oct 2005

State (Year) SSN issued: Utah (Before 1951 )

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Ben Elden Lewis's Timeline

November 19, 1913
Mesa, Maricopa, AZ, USA
November 5, 1921
Age 7
October 20, 2005
Age 91