---- — CULVER — Ronald Matthews Lewellen, 78, Culver, passed away at 4:35 a.m. Sunday, May 25, 2014, at IU Medical Center in Indianapolis.
Ron was born on May 27, 1935, in Salem. He was one of six children born to Roy Martin and Lillie Mae (Matthews) Lewellen. He was a graduate of Salem High School.
Ron had a passion for Christ. He attended Cincinnati Bible College in Ohio, San Jose Bible College in California — where he trimmed trees to support himself — and the College of Scriptures in Louisville, Ky. He became an ordained minister on Jan. 24, 1960, at Bunker Hill Christian Church in Bunker Hill. He later became the pastor at Pisgah Church near Logansport, where he served the congregation for 32 years. He loved the Lord and believed in preaching the gospel from the Bible. He always said “leading souls to the Lord” was the best part of his ministry. He also worked 44 years for Louisville Cement Co. (Essroc). He enjoyed hunting, playing golf and bowling in league play.
In Ron’s later years, he fell in love and married his soulmate, Cara Wells on Aug. 31, 1996, in Culver. They soon decided they wanted a baby. On Ron’s birthday in 1998, they began the paperwork to adopt a little girl. On June 27, 1999, Cara’s birthday, they were able to bring home their little Angela and she gave Ron a new spark in his life.
Ron became the pastor at Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Culver and served there until his death. He and Cara developed the largest youth group in Culver. They enjoyed boating and taking the kids tubing and water skiing on the lake. Each year the church had a float in the Lake Fest parade.
Ron was devoted to attending all of Angela’s sporting events and encouraged her to always do her best. He liked to garden, had a good sense of humor, and was a loving husband, father, grandpa and great-grandpa.
Ron is survived by his loving wife Cara of Culver; daughters Angela at home, Rhonda (Larry) Reitz of Litchfield, Ill., and Ruby (Jeff) McLean of Logansport; sons Martin (Donna) Lewellen of Logansport, Paul Lewellen of Lewisburg, Texas, and David (Kathy) Lewellen of Nashville, Tenn.; stepsons Kelly Simms of Logansport, and Andy (Kim) Simms of Tipton; brothers Audrene Lewellen of Sarasota, Fla, and Morrison Lewellen of Salem; and sister Kathleen Purkhiser of Salem, and Anna Ruth Lee, a cousin raised as a sister, of Jacksonville, Florida; 15 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.
A time to share memories with the family will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Emmanuel United Methodist Church. Pastors Marvin Purkhiser and Steve Schumerth will officiate funeral services. Burial will follow in Culver Masonic Cemetery.
Memorials may be given to Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Ron’s memory.
Condolences may be sent via the obituary page at www.odomfuneralhome.com.
The Odom Funeral Home, Culver, is assisting the family with arrangements.