Friday, July 27, 2012

The generous act of a loving son


I'm saddened by the death of Lewis Deaton (above left), 59, of Davidson. The beautiful obituary, written by his longtime partner Jon Guttman (right) , describes many of the reasons why so many people loved and respected Lewis, who died July 26 of pancreatic cancer.

I'll remember him most for one generous act of love.

Twelve years ago, in August 2000, Lewis' father, Rock Deaton, a popular Davidson resident and ardent fan of Davidson College athletics, died after surgery. That left Lewis' mother in a predicament. Eugenia (center) had lost her sight in recent years, and Rock had been her sole caregiver. She couldn't live alone.

Lewis, their only living son, had left North Carolina for New York City, where he and Jon had established, exciting careers. What would they do?

Despite the culture shock -- especially for Jon, a native New Yorker -- the two men decided to move to Davidson to care for Eugenia. I wrote this story about their decision in August 2001. By the time Eugenia died in 2006, Lewis and Jon had put down roots and chose to stay.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. What a lovely, touching story fitting what sounds like a kind and generous man.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte is a sadder place after the loss of this man. What a great human being.

Anonymous said...

Karen - I still have the article you wrote back when Lewis and Jon moved to Davidson. It was so touching and spoke so well about how we should all be of service to our aging parents. I am so sorry to hear this news.

Anonymous said...

big deal. so many children move themselves or their parents in order to personally tend to those parents in their 'golden years' for one reason or another. It's not all sunny and roses. They could have gone back to NYC 6 years ago and chose not to. The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

Anonymous said...

My father also passed away from Pancreatic Cancer. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is sponsoring Charlotte's first Pancreatic Cancer Walk. It is being held on September 22. For more info log onto www.Purplestride.org. A great way to honor this man's memory would be to participate in this walk.

Anonymous said...

While I'm sorry for the loss of this man's mother and his own untimely death, I don't find it unusual for a child to care for ailing parents. I do find it unusual that, among all the caregivers in this county, you focused on two gay men.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous July 28 2012 12:29 pm: Shame on you. A person has passed away, and that is your selfish comment? Shame on you.

Bob Manning said...

I saw Lewis about two weeks before his death. He was, even knowing his future, upbeat and funny as always. Those of you who find his status as a gay man annoying, or even evil need to know that Lewis was a kind and loving man whose courage in the face of death not many of us could match.

The loss of this multi-talented man is a tragedy; your attitude towards him is even more tragic.

Anonymous said...

Lewis will be remembered for many things. Taking care of his mother is just one. The numerous churches he shared his incdredible God given musical talent where he could make a piano and organ sing praises to the Lord is another. I am so blessed to have known this couple and the enjoyment they shard with family, friends, their community and each other. RIP Lewis....You are an angel...

Anonymous said...

Only God can judge us. Lewis we love you and will miss you. It is a big deal to take care of a blind mama. Only someone who has faith can do that.....have you ever tried it? Please don't judge him and his partner. They were the sweetest people to her and never put themselves first. . God Bless America....You are loved ....<3

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting.