Rex Keith Lewis

May 12, 1936 ~ July 24, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old


Rex Keith Lewis, 87, gently passed away on July 24th after a life of ups and downs but very well lived. Rex began his journey on May 12, 1936 being born to Roy Selby and Laura Ruth Lewis in Fort Benton, MT. Rex was the youngest of siblings Bud, Virginia, Cynthia and James who spent their early years growing up on Burlington and Grand Streets in Billings MT. His freshman year Rex moved with his parents to Anaconda when his father was hired as the Superintendent to oversee the building of St. Ann's Hospital. It was there he became enamored with the pretty gal selling movie tickets in the box office at the Washoe Theater, Marlene Poli. After graduating from high school Rex and Marlene married in February of 1956 and went on to have 3 children Laura, Leah and Michael. Their marriage lasted just shy of 59 years when Marlene passed away.

Being the son of a building contractor, Rex's work ethic was instilled early on. He was often on job sites swinging a hammer and assisting on all aspects of the building process when he was just a boy. Throughout his life he was the first one to help a friend with any carpentry, plumbing, electrical, cement and tile setting projects and thankfully he passed these skills onto his grandkids. 

Rex joined the Army in 1956 and was stationed in Germany for most of his deployment. He didn't get to meet his first born, Laura, until she was 3 years old to which she bluntly told this new man butting into her life "If I had a rock I'd throw it at you."  After his discharge, he embarked on the career of iron working for the Anaconda Company. During the company strikes, he found jobs from working on the skyscrapers in Chicago to the Minute Men Missile site in northern Montana.  In 1967, Rex found his final calling and became a police officer for the Anaconda Police Department. To this day he is known as being a fair and honest man who believed in 2nd chances. He knew the difference between someone making stupid mistakes or someone simply being malicious.  He loved Anaconda and its people and often stated that he "has a ghost on every corner." After his retirement from the police force, he went on to become the ADLC Coroner, a job he was good at but took it's toll on him after a few years and he permanently retired from the workforce.

Rex had many hobbies - he loved dirt bikes, snowmobiles, cars and Harley Davidsons, all sports especially boxing and golf. He kept himself busy with his many projects which, much to the chagrin of his daughter, usually entailed him hanging off a ladder. His greatest passion was being "chief head counter." He was happiest and, in his element, when he was with his whole family and could physically count heads and know they were all safe and sound and together.  Those who know Rex can attest to the fact that he was a funny, funny man. His humor and "Rexisms" are and will remain legendary. Even in his last days he kept his family and medical staff cracking up. 

Rex had a lot of souls waiting for him. His loving wife Marlene, his daughter Laura and her husband Tom Dewing and his son Michael who sadly passed away two days before he did. His parents, siblings Bud Lewis, Virginia Robbins and James Lewis. His in-laws Mike and Ann Poli and sister-in-law Christine Massey.

Rex's legacy will be carried on by his daughter Leah (Frank) Moreni, Grandchildren; Thomas (Cherri) Dewing, Selby (Wes) Dewing, Jess (Jessica) Dailey, Rex James (Cara) Lewis, Ariel (Chauncey) Lewis, Ryan Lewis and Ryley Lewis. His beloved great-grandchildren who he adored, Laura Marlene Dewing, Haggin Rex Dailey, Marlee Dailey, Delaney Lewis and Coy Lewis. Rex is also survived by his sister Cynthia Strobel, special friend Audrey Parrow, sister-in-law Carole Brebrick and brother-in-law Larry Massey. Nieces and nephews Sheila Bartanen, George Robbins, Gayle Stanley, Jim Bubash, Ginny Strobel, Sandra McCluskey, Julie Shelton and Keith Massey.

There will be a memorial celebration, organized privately by the family, for Rex and Mike on Saturday August 19th at the Montana Tammany Ballroom at 200 Main Street, Anaconda, MT at 4 PM. Please bring your memories.

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Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral Home and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Rex and his family.

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Memorial Celebration
August 19, 2023

4:00 PM
Montana Tammany Ballroom
200 Main St.
Anaconda, MT 59711


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