A celebration of the life of Connor Oliver Lewis was held on his 15th birthday, June 8, 2017, at the Shelburne Methodist Church at 4pm. He was the son of Marc and Tina (Boutin) Lewis of Shelburne.
Connor passed away peacefully surrounded by his family and loved ones on June 2, 2017 at UVM Medical Center after a brief bout with brain cancer. Connor was born on June 8, 2002 in Burlington, and is survived by his siblings: Amber Dutkiewicz, Jared Moody-Lewis and Presley Lewis; his grandfather Herman Lewis of Germany; grandparents, Roland and Clarice Boutin of Arizona; and his godparents, Daniel Becerra of Texas and Stephanie Becerra of California. He was predeceased by his grandmother Pyrle Lewis, Grandma and Grandpa Wilder, Gramma D., and Grandma Val. Connor leaves many close family friends, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Connor attended Shelburne Community School since kindergarten, graduating last June. This year he was a freshman at Champlain Valley Union High School, a student in the Nichols House. His friends remember his kind heart, great sense of humor and his red Nike Roshe sneakers. Connor loved music and his favorite song was “The Scientist” by Coldplay. Connor was an avid gamer and would meet up with his brother, close friends and others in the online gaming community. He also enjoyed hours of biking, fishing, and shooting baskets in the front yard. As a 9-year old, Connor took a cross-country flight to visit his friend, Brian, in California; and in April, he went to Orlando with his friends, Liam and Sam, for spring break. Connor is a part of many special memories.
Connor’s mother always thought he would become an engineer because of his inquisitive nature and his love of finding ways to assemble his innovative creations. He was always good at math and science. He worked hard in class so he could play hard outside of school. Connor’s classmates remember his ready smile. Even as a toddler he was busy on his battery-operated Hummer, sporting his beautiful head of red curls and an engaging smile.
Connor’s Kindergarten teacher fluffed his curls every day when he removed his hat. Connor soon asked his parents for a haircut because that was so embarrassing. His parents smiled when they noticed he had begun to let his hair grow — because the girls in high school had now noticed his curls. Connor talked to his friends about wanting to be a doctor so he could help people. That was part of Connor’s gentle nature. His friends say he helped find the best in tough situations, and he had a great sense of humor.
This spring, when his mom decided he should do his own laundry to increase his independence, Connor polled “everyone” at school and, according to his own report, no one else’s parents had put these stringent demands on them. His mom just laughed and still insisted that he was capable of doing his own laundry. Connor also had an entrepreneurial spirit. When he recently received a fidget spinner as a gift, he sold it at school the next day for $20. Things were never dull when Connor was around.
Presley adored her big brother. Connor would help his sister with her homework; but she most appreciated him when he used his big brother bargaining powers to buy a kitten — a kitten that their mother had forbidden them to purchase. They only had $10 between them but that didn’t deter Connor. He convinced the seller to sell the $15 kitten for $10 and then managed to hide the kitten until there was a large crowd of people so his Mom couldn’t refuse them. That cat pounces on Tina every time she goes down to the basement to do laundry. Connor loved all his pets, but especially Memphis the cat and his dog, Chewy.
Marc relied on Connor to help him compose business emails, to fix the computer and printer, and to manage their online passwords. Despite always finding time to help his father, strangely Connor was always too busy to share his computer password with his parents. When it came to his friends, Connor gave good advice about not holding grudges. He spent a lot of time hanging out with his friends, often making them delicious chocolate milkshakes or treating his friends to coffee drinks at Dunkin Donuts.
His mother had received a yellow bench as a Mother’s Day gift, and he would sit for hours on the yellow bench in the front yard talking with his friends. Connor impacted his friends’ lives because he took time to care and to listen and this is an important message to us all in the busyness of our hectic lives. Connor demonstrated his love for others in the time he spent with them, and because he listened, people felt safe to talk about their problems. True friendship is not separated by death; true friendship lives on forever.
The family would like to thank the PICU doctors and nurses, the Child Life Specialists, and the Palliative Care team at UVM Medical Center for their skill and compassion. The family would also like to thank the community for their support during this time, especially the CVU students who held a sunset candlelight vigil the evening of his service and released balloons. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Connor’s Fund at New England Federal Credit Union, PO Box 527, Williston, Vermont 05495.