The path to heaven was lit by fireflies for Walter Lewis Gallion when he passed peacefully at his home beside Spring Lake on May 29th, at the age of 89. Lew, as he was known by most, is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years, Norma, his sons Mark and Keith, and by his granddaughters Sydney, Laurel, Dana, and Nora. Lew was a quiet, sweet, loving, carefree, happy man who was always there when a helping hand was needed. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him, including his feisty pomeranian Dutchess.
Lew grew up in the small town of Victoria in southeast Virginia in a large, vibrant family with six siblings (George, John, Charles, Kathleen, Ben, and James), all of whom predeceased him and will rejoice to be reunited. Lew joined the Navy after high school and served for four years on sea planes as a radio operator in Panama, including training missions to the Galapagos islands that he recalled with a gleam in his eye. His radio training sparked an interest in electronics and led Lew to study electrical engineering at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. During this time, he met Norma Ruth Crowder and they were married two days before his graduation in 1959.
Soon after their honeymoon, Lew went to work for GE in Lynchburg, where he helped design, build and service mobile radios. His company was at the leading edge of the now-ubiquitous cell phone industry, as demonstrated by the Gallion family car, which had a computer-sized cell receiver in the trunk, an antenna installed on the roof, and a brick-sized phone up front. Lew stayed with GE and the company that bought them, Ericsson, for the rest of his career.
Lew happily retired at the age of 62 and spent the last chapter of his life caring for the people around him, lending a hand wherever it was needed. Much of his time was spent working with
Kiwanis and the Miller Home for Girls, tending to his home and garden, keeping his mind sharp playing Hearts, doting on his grandchildren, and sharing his limitless kindness with neighbors who called him “Mr. G”. He became like a grandfather to his closest neighbor’s children and a second father to their parents who lovingly made him a part of their family and enriched his retirement beyond measure.
To honor Lew’s wishes there will be no funeral service. Lew bravely fought small cell lung cancer for the last seven months of his life. If you wish to honor him, please consider donating to cancer research.
Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.