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Wilton B. (Rusty) Lewis

September 6, 1936 ~ January 7, 2018 (age 81)
Delco: Wilton Berry “Rusty” Lewis, age 81, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, January 7, 2018 at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill, NC, surrounded by his loving family and following complications from a LVAD heart surgery.

Rusty was born on September 6, 1936 in Robeson County, NC to Myrtice W. and Berry R. Lewis. He was raised in Bladen County, NC. For 48 years, he worked as a Wise potato chip distributor for Paul H. Sessoms, and was well-known as everyone’s favorite “Wise Man.” At the time of his passing, Rusty resided in Delco, NC.

For as long as his health allowed, Rusty greatly enjoyed golfing with friends at Carolina Sands Country Club at White Lake and in Pinehurst, NC and Kiawah Island, SC. Rusty was an avid fisherman, who frequently fished on the Black River with his beloved nephew, Tommy.

Long known for his positive spirit, Rusty deeply cared for others, never met a stranger, and had an unmatched sense of humor. He was a member of Prosper Baptist Church in Delco, NC, where he sang in the choir. He also found great joy in preparing his special barbeque for various church events.

He is survived by his wife, Phoebe of Delco, NC; daughters Shari Ellis (Tim) of Raleigh, NC, Tammy Watts (Jimmy) of New Bern, NC, Lori Lewis of Fayetteville, NC, and Karen Streussnig (Shawn) of El Paso, TX; step-daughter Sherry Gurganus (Jason) of Wilmington, NC; grandchildren Rob Jenkins, Lauren Leader (Ben), David Ellis (Anna), all of Charlotte, NC, Jason Hughes (Francie) of Ft. Mde. Junction, MD, Kaitlin Rouse (Jeffrey) of Raleigh, NC, Niki Erickson (Alex) of Boca Raton, FL, and Erica Streussnig of El Paso, TX; four great grandchildren; sisters Hannah Gooden, Edith Stewart, Jean Gooden, and Glenys Thompson, all of Elizabethtown, NC; sister Martha Bridgers of Wallace, NC; brother Autry Lewis of Raleigh NC; and brother nephew Tommy L. White of Elizabethtown, NC.

He is preceded in his death by his parents, his first wife Bonnie S. Lewis, his sister Thay Lewis White, and brother William Coegill Lewis.

Family, friends and others whose lives Rusty influenced and touched are invited to Prosper
Baptist Church, 6595 Livingston Chapel Road, Delco, NC 28436 on Saturday, January 13 for a visitation from 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., followed by a service at noon.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals, 123 Old Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27517 (or online at or to Prosper Baptist Church.

Rusty’s family extends sincere gratitude to the doctors, nurses and staff at UNC Hospital for their continual kindness during his hospital stay, and to Pastor Eddie Watts of Prosper Baptist Church for traveling to Chapel Hill and offering his ongoing support and prayers.
                               McKenzie Mortuary Service

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