Roger Spencer Lewis passed away peacefully at his home on March 29, 2019 surrounded by family. Roger was born on August 5, 1937 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Herbert Spencer Lewis and Della Smith Lewis. Roger attended high school in Boise before leaving to attend Brigham Young University. Roger left his studies at BYU to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Central States Mission.
Roger married Joan Wilson in 1967. They remained happily married for more than 51 years. Joan diligently and lovingly cared for Roger during the final months of his life. Roger was the proud father to six children: Kim (David) Baird, Cory (Teresa) Lyman, Tracy Lyman, Cyd (Stan) Varner, Matthew (Amanda) Lewis, and Kristin (Rich) Shaw. He was also blessed with 21 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren. He loved to spend time with his family -- golfing, fishing, swimming, playing games, or chatting and laughing, as he usually manned the barbecue.
Roger was an incredibly talented piano player and composer who devoted much of his life to sharing the gift of music with others. He played jazz piano in several ensembles, accompanied countless performers, and loved to play at family parties, weddings, and school activities. However, he was first and foremost a teacher. His greatest work was teaching thousands of piano students to play themselves. For nearly 30 years Roger operated a piano teaching studio in a building right next to his home and often had more than 100 students at any one time. He developed the MusicMaster curriculum, his own method for teaching piano, which allowed students to play fun tunes almost immediately. He taught his piano method until he was 81 years old. His students were very dear to him and kept him feeling young. When he suddenly had to stop teaching due to illness, he received dozens of cards from loving students wishing that he would get better and return to teaching. He said that giving up teaching was the most difficult thing he had ever done.
Roger was a faithful member of the LDS Church throughout his life. He loved the gospel, was an avid and passionate reader, and a legendary teacher. He had a tremendous impact on the youth and others that he taught. He also loved to interact with fellow Saints and to worship, particularly through music. He regularly conducted ward and stake choirs, which often performed numbers that he had composed or arranged.
He was preceded in death by his dad, mom, and sister, Marsha Pedersen, son-in-law Stan Varner, and grandson Matthew Lyman. We imagine the reunion was sweet.
During his final days, he was cared for lovingly by Elevation Home Health. Roger’s family would particularly like to thank his nurse Jamie, his “man’s man” Eric, and Soane, all of whom he dearly loved and appreciated.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the Cottonwood 4th Ward, 5565 Neighbor Lane (approx. 1600 East), where viewings will be held Monday evening from 6-8 p.m. and on Tuesday morning from 9:00 -10:30 a.m. prior to the service. Interment will follow at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park. Guestbook to post messages for the family available at: HolbrookMortuary.com
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