William Ashby Land Lewis Sr., a photo engraver for over 50 years at the Baltimore AFRO-American Newspaper, died on Sept. 13 at the age of 101. He died in his sleep.


William Ashby Land Lewis worked for the AFRO for over 50 years. (Courtesy photo)

William Lewis, Sr. was born on Apr. 30, 1915 in Blackstone, Va. to Arthur Lazarus and Cora Louise Lewis. Twelve years later the family relocated to Baltimore, Md. While there Lewis attended Frederick Douglass High School and graduated from there in 1935. It was shortly after graduation that he began his over 50 years long career as a photo engraver for the Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper.

On Dec. 21, 1940 Lewis married Rosa Nixon and on Dec. 25, 1944 they welcomed their only child, William Ashby Land Lewis, Jr., into the world. Lewis and his family, initially, resided on Monroe Street but later moved to their current residence on Liberty Heights Avenue in 1971.

On numerous occasions, during his long tenure with the AFRO, Lewis and the engraving department were recognized for their service and professionalism. Even in retirement, he continued to read the AFRO.

In his final days, Lewis was able to rest in his home with his wife and granddaughter, Sydney Fonteyn Lewis, who had become his primary caregiver. According to the family, he passed peacefully in his sleep on Sept. 13.

Lewis is survived by his wife, Rosa; son, William; granddaughter, Sydney; grandson, Shannon; niece, Tonya; and a host of relatives, family and friends.

Funeral services were held on Sept. 21 at Wylie Funeral Home Chapel in Randallstown, Md.