Oklahoma Jeweler Glenn Lewis Dies at 68

IndependentsMay 02, 2024

Oklahoma Jeweler Glenn Lewis Dies at 68

The co-founder of Lewis Jewelers was also the longtime mayor of the city of Moore.

Glenn Lewis
Glenn Lewis, who died on Sunday at age 68, is remembered for his impact on the city of Moore, Oklahoma, as a beloved community jeweler and the city’s longest-serving mayor.
Moore, Okla.—Glenn Delbert Lewis, longtime mayor and co-founder of Lewis Jewelers in Moore, Oklahoma, died at the age of 68 on April 28.

He had been experiencing a “lengthy illness,” the family said in his obituary.

Lewis was born July 12, 1955, in Shawnee, Oklahoma, to John Delbert Lewis and Tawana Ruth Richardson Lewis. 

In the summer of 1960, the family moved to Moore, where John built their home.

Lewis graduated from Moore High School, where he was president of his senior class, in 1973. He attended the University of Oklahoma and transferred to the University of Central Oklahoma, where he graduated with a degree in municipal management.

Following an interest in rock hunting, Lewis became a jeweler apprentice at age 16.

In 1976, he opened Lewis Jewelers with his younger brother Tim. Glenn’s business focus was on manufacturing wholesale and retail jewelry, the family said.

Both brothers got their start in the industry cutting and polishing gemstones, according to the store’s website.  

Today, the store is fully integrated from gemstone cutting to designing and manufacturing finished pieces in its own factory, and it has served multiple generations of customers for 45 years. 

After 18 years in the jewelry industry, Lewis was elected the mayor of Moore in 1994. 

He was nicknamed “Mr. Mayor” for his love and commitment to the city, his family said.

U.S. Representative Tom Cole, who has lived in Moore for more than 60 years, has said that Lewis’ time as mayor was "the most consequential in the history of Moore, without question."

It was during Lewis' tenure that the 1999 EF5 tornado struck the city, killing more than 40 people and leaving behind more than $1 billion in damage. 

On a visit to Moore, then-President Bill Clinton called Lewis “the most experienced mayor in dealing with FEMA disasters.”

Lewis was also in office when another tornado hit in 2013, leading to the injuries and deaths of dozens, as well as $2 billion in damage.

Then-President Barack Obama visited the city, and federal emergency responders “followed the city’s lead, rather than the other way around,” The Oklahoman reported.

President Barack Obama and Moore mayor Glenn Lewis
President Barack Obama talking with Glenn Lewis on his visit to Moore, Oklahoma, in May of 2013 (Photo by Bryan Terry, courtesy of The Oklahoman)

In 2021, thanks to a unanimous vote by city councilmembers, Lewis was honored with the renaming of a portion of SW 25 Boulevard—the section near a Costco he helped attract to the area—to Glenn Lewis Boulevard.

After 30 years in office, Lewis, the longest serving mayor in the state, decided last year to not seek reelection, according to local news.

The new mayor Mark Hamm remembers him on the city's official Facebook page, stating that “City Council recently honored [Lewis] with the ‘Key to the City,’ symbolizing the impact he had on the community. Glenn had the key to our hearts.” 

Lewis was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Pamela Coulter Lewis.  

He is survived by his daughter, Laura Lewis, and her partner Brendan Schulz; their children, Riley and Daniel; and his brother Timothy J. Lewis and his wife, Julie. 

A visitation took place May 1 at Lynlee Mae Chapel, located at 507 East Main in Moore, and will also be held May 2 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.  

The funeral service will be held May 3 at 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Moore, located at 301 NE 27th Street, and interment will follow at Moore City Cemetery at 800 SW 4th Street. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts in Lewis’ memory be made to the Pam and Glenn Lewis Scholarship Fund. 

Those can be mailed to Moore High School Alumni Association, PO Box 7916, Moore, Oklahoma 73153. 

Lauren McLemoreis the associate editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments.

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