Alton “Whit” Lewis, age 87, peacefully passed away on June 17, 2024, at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka.

He was born on April 28, 1937, in Merced, the son of Arthur Wright Lewis and Alice Sarah Savage. They lived in Fish Camp, Mariposa County, near Yosemite, with his sister Lyla and brother Dennis. He began working in the woods at a very early age with his Dad and Grandpa, then held a number of positions in the lumber industry. He was also a heavy equipment operator and a distance truck driver. He could fix anything. He was a good cook with baked ham and the hobo breakfast two of his specialties. He loved old time country music and knew the words to many songs. He served in the US Navy from 1955-1958 aboard the USS Ajax. He had a wealth of knowledge about historic events and everyday life. His memory of family history and the birth dates of everyone he ever knew was amazing.

In 2006 he married his childhood sweetheart, Beverly Taplin and they moved to Chelsea, Vermont where Beverly had been born. He spent his time in Vermont “care-taking” the Taplin Farm as he liked to call it, and then as caregiver to Beverly as her health declined with dementia. His loss of vision due to macular degeneration was one of the hardest things he had to deal with and often said he would have rather lost his right arm than his vision. His recent health diagnosis made him want to be back home in California with his family and his old time friends. His wish was granted and he was able to say his good-byes.

He is survived by his wife, Beverly Taplin at Menig Nursing Home in Vermont, his daughter, Alice (Bill) Osborne, son, Alton Lewis, Jr. “JR”, grandchildren Abigail, William, Matthew, Heather, Andrew (Kaylie), Josh & Cameron and great-grandchildren Vivian, Christopher, Sierra, Harley, Donna Faye, Sophie and Adam Wade; Beverly’s California family, Carleen Sanderson, Chris (Melissa) Sanderson their kids Mallory & Gage, and Amber Sanderson, as well as Beverly’s Vermont family, the Alice (Taplin) Doyle family Teresa, Sandy, Jim & Andy and their families. He is also survived by cousins, nieces and nephews and many long time friends. He truly cherished their friendship and appreciated the many calls.

He was predeceased by his parents, sister Lyla (Lewis) Annibel, brother Dennis Lewis, half-brother Ralph Morris, and a son, Michael Wade Lewis who died in 1983 at age 19.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, July 6 at 11 a.m. at Goble’s Mortuary in Fortuna. Burial will be at the Ocean View Cemetery, Sunset Memorial Park in Eureka.

The family would like to give a special heart-felt thank you to Cornerstone Care of New England for the personal escort and arranging the travel from Vermont to California.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Chelsea Area Senior Center, P.O. Box 44, Chelsea, Vermont 05038 or to Mad River Community Honor Guard, P.O. Box 180, Fortuna, CA 95540.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Whit Lewis’ loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.