ABMA Mourns the loss of John Lewis of Tucel Industries

Thu May 21, 2020

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John Connell Lewis Jr, 84, died peacefully Friday April 10th, 2020 at Mertens House in Woodstock, VT. He was born on August 4th, 1935 in Atlantic City, NJ, the son of John C. and Ella Lewis and attended the Peddie School. John met his wife, of 58 years, Susan Lockwood Lewis while attending Middlebury College where he graduated in 1958 with a Masters degree in Chemistry. They settled in downtown Middlebury not far from where they met on campus.

The photo is courtesy of Broom Brush and Mop Magazine

John was creative in everything he did. In business he decided to follow his heart and started his own business, Tucel Industries, a Brush Manufacturing Corporation that shipped products around the world. John held over 20 patents and changed the way cleaning products were made. He was a caring employer and he took pride in creating jobs and crafting a positive atmosphere where his employees thrived. 

With four kids under the age of 15, he and his wife Susan bought an old farmhouse in Salisbury, VT and rebuilt it from the studs up. The chemist from New Jersey somehow mastered every skill needed to create their Vermont dream home out of almost nothing! His interest in a wide variety of areas took him on a few tangents including becoming a Master Gardener, a skilled artist in Stained Glass, as well as a Birder.  

John was a strong supporter of and actively involved in many local Middlebury groups and organizations including the MUHS School Board, Elderly Services in Addison County, other non-profit organizations and his alma mater Middlebury College. He believed in sharing his good fortune with others.

As soon as the first Grandchild was born, he became “Papa John” and loved sharing his creativity and energy with all of his five grandchildren. 

Papa John is survived by his children, Laura Brockett of Randolph, NH., John C. Lewis III and wife Jennifer of Raleigh, NC., Douglas Lewis and wife Kelley of Park City, UT., and Jason Lewis of Boulder, CO., by his sisters, Bonnie von Wettberg, and Elizabeth Roberts, and Glen Ellen Menard. Also, by his grandchildren, Christopher Brockett, Sarah Brockett, Audrey Lewis, Olivia Lewis and Russell Lewis. He is predeceased by his wife Susan Lewis and his brother Grey Lewis.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Elderly Services of Vermont (http://elderlyservices.org/make-an-online-gift/) where both Sue and John enjoyed attending the Project Independence program for many years.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Sanderson-Ducharme Funeral Home.