Virginia Olive (Whalen) Lewis

OBIT-LewisANACORTES, WASH. — Direct descendant of 1621 colonists in Maine, Virginia Lewis was a beauty queen who made others shine.

Virginia Olive Lewis was one of 21 children born to Mabel (Strout) Whalen and Cecil L. Whalen, one in a direct line that began with the Strout family arriving from Germany in 1621.

Virginia was a spirited and caring mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and a natural beauty. In 1947, she won the Apple Blossom Queen contest in Bath, Maine, and later went on to become a cosmetologist in Seattle, where wealthy clientele waited days for an opening with the saucy and kind-hearted Virginia at Bon Marche and Grosvenor House in Seattle during their glamorous 1960s heydays.

She passed away on Aug. 3, 2015, in Anacortes, Wash., at the age of 86.

Born on March 19, 1929, Virginia attended school in Sullivan and married John Lewis (87) on April 13, 1946, at Elm Street Baptist Church in Bath, Maine.

In 1956, John, Virginia and their two children moved to Seattle, Wash., where Virginia, a 1950s devotee of Hollywood elegance and Marilyn Monroe, and an independent woman, devoted herself to a new career path. Graduating from West Seattle Beauty College in the 1960s, she was selected to work with the famed Vidal Sassoon at a special show in Seattle. Her loyal clientele spanned both the East and the West Coast. Virginia worked from the age of 14 to well into her 70s.

OBIT-Lewis2After 40 years as a cosmetologist, Virginia and her husband of 70 years retired in 1989 and began wintering in Anacortes and summering in Maine.

Aside from her husband, Virginia was greatly loved by many family members and dear friends, on both the West and East Coast.

Her immediate survivors include her daughter Gretchen Jankauskas-Stewart (husband Douglas Stewart) of Shelton, Wash.; her son Bruce A. Lewis (wife Teresa Kasch-Lewis) of Anacortes; granddaughter Jessica Blischke of Bend, Ore.; granddaughter Jennille Jankauskas of Bellevue, Wash.; grandson Joseph Lewis of Burlington, Wash.; grandson John Lewis of Anacortes; and granddaughter Ashley Lewis stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. She also leaves six great-grandchildren.

Know when to pay your respects.