Leonard L. Lewane
Lee Lewane, a 26- Year Army combat veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars
died on Saturday, 7 January in Elizabeth City, North Carolina surrounded by his
Born in New Jersey
as the only child of Doctor Sigmond S. MD and Mrs. Estelle G. Lewane. He is
predeceased by his beloved wife of 55 years Sara Sue (Sally) McMillan Lewane.
Lee Lewane transferred from public high school to Columbia
where he won his first laurels by winning the Annual Declamation Contest.
On 9 September 1946, Lewane matriculated to Virginia Military Institute.
At VMI he rode in the horse cavalry troop and won his varsity letter as a
midfielder on the first VMI lacrosse team.
On 13 June 1950 he graduated from VMI with a BS Degree in pre-medicine
and a Regular Army commission in the armored cavalry. Lee’s first assignment
was a tank platoon leader in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Meade, Maryland. Within a year, he was on orders to the Korean
war serving first in 1952 as a tank platoon leader in the 2nd
Infantry Division, then in 1953 as a tank company commander in the 3rd
In 1955, he was posted as a tank company commander in the 509th
Tank Battalion a.k.a 9th Calvary at Fort
Knox, Kentucky where
he met, courted and married Sara Sue McMillan on 7 April 1956 at the post
chapel in a military wedding that would continue for some 55 years. By the
summer of that year, Lee and Sally arrived in the Bavarian city of Regensburg only to be separated when Lee was ordered to
the Czechoslovakian-West German border during the Suez
crisis and the Hungarian Uprising of 1956 as an armored Calvary company
commander in the 6th Calvary and later in the 11th Calvary. Returning
stateside to VMI in 1959, Lee and Sally were blessed in 1960 with the birth of
twins Catherine Sue and Victoria Ann on 17 August. In addition, the youngest
daughter, Gloria Leigh, was born in 1964. Soon after Lee was deployed to Vietnam in
1965. First, as an operations staff officer in Saigon then as commander of the
1st Squadron 4th Calvary
in the legendary 1st “Big Red One” Infantry Division. The squadron fought three fierce battles in
1966 and was decorated with US Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary
Upon his return to the states, Lee, in preparation for duty in the
Pentagon in the Joint Chiefs of Staff was selected to attend the Air War
College at Maxwell Airforce Base in Montgomery, Alabama and was conferred with
an MA degree in International Affairs from George Washington University and a
MS Degree in Political Science from Auburn University.
In 1972, Lee and Sally returned to West Germany as Commander and First
Lady of the 1st Brigade of the 1st Armored Division
followed by an assignment as Chief of Staff, US Army, Berlin until 1974. Lewane’s terminal assignment was at Fort Monroe, Virginia
with the Training and Doctrine Command as Director of the development of the M1
Abrams Tank and the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Upon withdrawing from active Army service in
1976, Lewane taught history and government at Blue
Ridge Community College
near Staunton, Virginia for 28 years.
Among his military decorations, they include two Silver Stars, two
Bronze Stars, two Legions of Merit, a Distinguished Flying Cross for Valor and
eleven Air Medals.
Lee is survived by his three daughters, Catherine Goodrich and husband,
Edward; Victoria Peters and husband, Rex; Gloria Land and fiancé, Kenton
Holsapple; grandchildren, Brandon Love, Brittany and husband, Ryan Brome;
Catherine Peters; Lindsay and husband, Joe Cheshire; Jennifer and husband,
Patrick King; Taylor Goodrich; Casey Land; great grandchildren, Bella Love; Brooks
and Blake Brome and Grace Cheshire.
Friends and family may view at the Gallop Chapel Nags Head MP 16 Friday January 13, 2017 from 6 pm to 8 pm. Col.
Lewane will be laid to rest in Arlington
at a date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Col. Lewane’s name may be made to: Paralyzed
Veterans of America, 801 18th
Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006-3517
Condolences to the family may be expressed at
www.gallopfuneralservices.com. Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was
entrusted with arrangements.
Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. 6917 S. Croatan
Hwy. Nags Head, NC 27959