JOPLIN, Mo. —
Lewis Walter Cortez, age 82, of Joplin, passed away at 7:02 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, at his home.
Born Feb. 10, 1932 in Carthage, Mo., he was the son of the late Lewis Kirby Cortez and Leta Minnie Irwin Cortez and had lived in Joplin the past 20 years. A 1949 graduate of Lincoln High School, he was an outstanding basketball player there. Lewis then began his career with the U.S. Army retiring with the rank of Command Sergeant Major after serving in the armed forces for over 30 years. He was a veteran of the Vietnam and Korean Wars. He was also stationed in Germany and Alaska. He was a member of Myrtle Masonic Lodge No. 149. Both he and his wife were avid fisherman and loved to bowl.
Lewis married his high school sweetheart, Willie Mae Poole and together they enjoyed 62 years of marriage. She survives.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Rosemary Felton in 2009; and a brother, Sherrill Cortez earlier this year.
Additional survivors include a granddaughter, Tanishia Felton, of the home; a great-granddaughter, Aliyah McKinzie; three sisters, Mary Frances Busch, Constance Moss and Sandra Griffin, all of Joplin; five brothers, Ralph Cortez, of Joplin, Rev. Art Cortez and wife, Joyce, of Evansville, Ind., Bruce Cortez and wife, Nancy, of Baton Rouge, La., Carroll Cortez and wife, Donna, of Los Cruces, N.M., Cedric Cortez and wife, Jan, of Carthage; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Forest Park Baptist Church with Dr. John Swadley, officiating. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Parkway Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Parker Mortuary from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Parker Mortuary.
Memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society.
Online condolences may be made at www.parkermortuary.com