Leslie (Les) Warren Lewis

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Leslie Warren Lewis, known to all as just plain “Les” or “Lester”, passed away at home in Feb. of natural causes. He graduated from Grass Range High School in 1970 and spent much of his life in that community. Les and his brothers were raised by their parents, Dave and Arcy, on a ranch northeast of Grass Range. There they occupied themselves collecting magpie eggs for pocket money, corralling and naming the barnyard cats, and roping calves behind their dad and Uncle Bill’s backs.

Eventually their legs grew long enough to man the rake during haying and reach the stirrups while trailing Herefords. Les’ allergies limited what he could do on the ranch, leaving him time to shoot baskets. By the time he finished grade school at the Blakeslee oneroom school and headed for the big time in Grass Range, he was a betterthan-average basketball player.

As an adult he worked on various ranches, especially enjoying riding horses. One of his greatest pleasures was heat detecting cows on horseback during A.I. breeding. Les married Carol Hedrick in 1975. They had two children, Wiley and Megan. In addition, Les helped raise Carol’s daughter Vickie. Eventually Les and Carol divorced, but as Les’ health deteriorated, Carol was one of his supporters, along with his cousin, Bonnie Tuss, and his many friends around Grass Range.

You could just about set your watch by Les’ golf cart pulling into his “reserved” parking spot in front of Grass Range’s Wrangler Bar and Café. He would climb atop a stool and lay in wait for someone to show up for a couple of games of Thirteen or Cribbage. Like many a fierce Crib player, Les would cackle when the cards were kind and blow smoke when they turned sour. Then home he’d go for one of his TV dinners. His granddaughter Sawyer was the light of his life. One stop in his daily circuit was to see her. No doubt she made Les feel years younger.

Les was preceded in death by both parents. He is survived by his older brother Mark (Terry) Lewis of Grass Range, younger brother Russell (Julie) of Nevada, son Wiley, daughter Megan Palmer (Alex) and granddaughter Sawyer all of Billings, several nieces and nephews, cousins, step-mother Gunda Lewis, and her three children.

A Celebration of Life for Les will be held at the Wrangler Bar and Café in Grass Range at 1 p.m. on Aug. 11. All of Les’ many friends and family are invited to gather for food, share memories, and lay a blessing on his cribbage board.



Where is your favorite place to go camping in Central Montana?