An African spirit and a history lover – this is how family of the late Sheila Lewis, 77, described her.
Ms Lewis was found dead in her Lavendon Street home on Thursday March 16 (“Multiple murders in the far south,” Echo March 23).
Her cousin, Denise Davies, describes her as “someone who was always ready to participate in social gatherings” and “who loved her friends dearly”.
She said Ms Lewis was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, to George and Dorothy Russell on July 31, 1945.
She had one sister, Carol Goldsberry, and one daughter, Serena Lewis, who both died within nine days of each other in March 2017.
Ms Lewis was a widow and had lived in Fish Hoek for about 20 years at the time of her death.
She lived in Hwange, originally known as Wankie, and Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe, in her younger years and came to Cape Town where she worked for the South African Navy as a marine cartographer.
She was an active member of the Fish Hoek community and participated in dance groups, exercise classes, the Natural History Club, U3A, and a knitting group, among others.
“She loved her knitting group. All the women knit for the needy, and they were even featured on the Expresso Morning Show on TV,” Ms Davies said.
Ms Lewis’s other great love was her cat Bicardi, who died recently.
“She loved wildlife and visiting game reserves, basically anything African in spirit. She never missed a show of Wild Earth on TV if she could help it and followed the stories behind each and every animal mentioned.”
Ms Davies added that Ms Lewis had a huge interest in anything historical and a reluctance to let go of information and objects was “evident in her home”.
“We will really miss her sometimes eccentric ways but will remember her for her love of life, her willingness to be counted in to give and provide,” Ms Davies said.
There will be a memorial service for Ms Lewis at the King of Kings Church in Sun Valley, on Tuesday May 9, at 2.30pm.