Lewis, Barbra Edson, 85, passed away peacefully on June 7, 2019 at St. Elizabeth Manor surrounded by her loving family. Born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, she was the eldest daughter of the late Katherine Eloise (Gregory) and the late John Chadwick Edson. She was the beloved wife of the late James Francis. They were blessed with two daughters; Theresa Frances Lewis and July Nancy E. Lewis of Bristol, RI, granddaughter Julia Lewis-Borgia of Bristol, RI and grandsons Wyatt Delomba of Pittsburg, PA and Weston Delomba of Warwick, RI.
Barbra descended from generations of musicians and singers. Her parents created the Ridgewood Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company in 1937, when she was 4 and the community theater became the center of the family's life. She grew up a lifelong fan of Gilbert & Sullivan and joined the company when she was only 14 years old. She grew her beautiful soprano voice while attending the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music after graduating from Ridgewood High School in 1951. After returning home from a year in London in the 1950s, Barbra sang almost all lead soprano and contralto roles in the Gilbert & Sullivan operas and was the company Costume Manager for many years. She also worked as a bookkeeper and had administrative roles including her service to Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce. She was always busy but found time to be a class parent volunteer and sang with her high school parent theater group, Jamboree.
Barbra moved to Bristol, RI in 2011 to be closer to her family and her new granddaughter Julia Lewis-Borgia. She was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church, which included being a soloist in the choir of St Mary's in Tuxedo Park, NY and a dedicated member of the choir of St Matthews in Paramus, NJ. Most recently she was a member of St. Michaels in Bristol, RI.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service for Barbara on Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 11am at The Unitarian Society of Ridgewood
113 Cottage Place. Ridgewood, NJ 07450. Doors open at 11, memorial at 11:30, with lunch served at 12 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations made in memory of Barbra to the Ridgewood Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company in Ridgewood, NJ. would be greatly appreciated.
Ridgewood Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company
P.O. Box 307
Ridgewood, NJ 07451
To send flowers to Barbra's family, please visit our floral section.