Schnider Funeral Home Great Falls Montana


Rev. John Lewis
Rev. John Lewis


Rev. John Lewis

Dec 03, 1931 - Sep 17, 2017

Rev. John Satterlee Lewis, 85, joined the communion of saints on Sunday, September 17, 2017.

A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 610 2nd Ave. N, Great Falls.

John was born December 3, 1931 in Chanute, Kansas to Harry and Helen Lewis. John was raised in the church and the Boy Scouts. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout before working on a dairy farm and for John Deere.  He began pastoring churches in college and served 10 churches in the Kansas East, North Texas, and Yellowstone Conferences of the United Methodist Church, including a term as Superintendent of Northern Montana.

His interests included enacting Methodist circuit rider Brother Van Orsdell, volunteering with Tax Help Montana, and advocating for LGBTQ community members and their families. He also enjoyed sailing, hiking, skiing, and most things outdoors.

John is survived by his, wife Linda; children Tim (Linda) of Belt, Wes (Pam) of Salt Lake City, UT, Beth (Bruce) Vallier of Vaughn, MT, Dan (Kerry) of Los Angeles, CA, Kelly Shaffer (Blake) Lowthian of Jacksonville, TN, Nicole Shaffer Orta of Helena, MT; 14-ish grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and brother Bob (Artie) of Baxster, MN. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, and first wife, Janet.

Gifts in John’s memory may be made to Parents Reconciling Network,, or to First UMC, 610 2nd Ave N., Great Falls, MT 59401.

Public Guest Book

Sep 19th
Dave & Patty Olson
We certainly will miss John. We love both you and John and will be ready to help when asked. We are so grateful we got to visit with John before his passing.
Sep 22nd
Betty Shearer and Family
John and his family were special in our church lives while he served in Glendive. He was truly a gifted pastor
Oct 3rd
Peter Klevberg
I met John Lewis when he was working the PFLAG booth at the Montana State Fair and I was working the alternative booth where we promoted freedom and forgiveness in Christ for those with sexual addictions. While I met with hostility from many who supported the PFLAG booth, that was not John S. Lewis. He and I met for lunch, and as we got to know and understand each other, we developed a friendship I will greatly miss. Neither of us ever persuaded the other of the correctness of his position on this issue, but in some ways that made for a richer friendship. Society would be a very different place if more people shared his attitude and approach.
Oct 7th
Carol and Bob Calkins
Rev. John, or Papa John as we Yellowstone Youth Ministries kids used to call him, made huge impacts on so many of us in our high school/camp years. He truly believed in us and gave us the encouragement to go and be Jesus to those we encountered. He sent many hours traveling with and guiding the YYM crew. He performed our wedding in 1981 and came when I told him I would love for him to be present for our 25th vow renewal! Tim and Wes, so sorry we were not at the memorial.
Oct 13th
John Peters
I met John and his family while on assignment from Pennsylania to the Rainbow Project in 2012. John became a very special friend and part of my time away from home. He and Linda along with the First UMC family took this Easterner in as though I was one of their own. I will always be grateful for that experience and will hold that time as a special part of my life. So sorry for his passing but know is he is now among all the saints who have passed on to their eternal reward.


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