John & Ann Lewis, December 2014
Below is a short history we were asked to submit with our mission papers.
24 Nov. 2014
John is one of nine children, raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles; Ann is one of three children raised on a fruit farm in central California. Her Mennonite father converted to the LDS Church when she was three. Ann was a world-class swimmer and John loves to sing. Both enjoyed happy childhoods in strong LDS homes and loved their involvement in church experiences, academics, and extracurricular activities.
John and Ann both migrated to Provo, Utah, to attend BYU but didn’t meet until years later while working in Utah, thanks to a blind date arranged by her father and his cousin. Once they met, the courtship was quick and they were married two months later. They have lived in Orem, Utah, their entire married life and been blessed with three wonderful children, Adam, Claire, and Aaron.
John and Ann have traveled extensively for work and pleasure. Ann has a special love for Africa, having served a mission there and worked for three years in Nigeria directing a children’s health program. She and John continue to be involved in the work of the Ouelessebougou Alliance to help the people of Mali, West Africa, with health, education, and economic development initiatives. John has chaired the organization and served for many years on the board’s executive committee. Ann currently directs the efforts of Days for Girls in Utah and beyond, a humanitarian organization dedicated to helping girls in developing countries stay in school. John was blessed with the opportunity to travel the world with WordPerfect when the company was growing exponentially and establishing a presence in many international markets. Along with their investment partners, John and Ann found themselves in Manhattan, NY, for meetings on September 11, 2001. This week in New York has left a lasting impression on their lives.
John has enjoyed his 18 years of external-relations work at BYU, which provides new and interesting experiences every day. He enjoys interacting with the amazing students and faculty who make such a difference in the world. He has also been involved in the community, having served as chairman of the board for the United Way of Utah County and for the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, as well as serving on the board of the Volunteer Care Clinic in Provo, Utah.
For many years, Ann has taken classes at BYU and has become an accomplished family historian. She developed her own curriculum and teaches a popular family history class each week for 13 weeks during the fall and winter semesters at our local stake center. She has had more than 2,000 students since 2012. She is also the local bug expert for the kids in our neighborhood and has served as an Emergency Response coordinator for the city of Orem. She has co-authored a series of children’s books on the Articles of Faith, has contributed a chapter to another Deseret Book publication, “A Singular LIfe,” and was a member of the general Relief Society committee that authored the monthly visiting teaching messages from 1989 to 1992. In her travels with the Church’s International magazines, she was in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, three days before the uprising in 1989.
Their greatest joy is their three children who are interesting, fun, talented people. The oldest, Adam, married wonderful Heidi Robins in January 2014 and both are chipping away at their education to prepare for a long, productive life. Claire is a junior at BYU and is gifted in music and art as well as science and math. In 2013, she enjoyed a semester abroad with BYU in Vienna, Austria. Aaron is about halfway through his full-time missionary service in the Chile Santiago South mission and loves it. He often crosses paths where his older brother walked while serving in the Chile Santiago West mission a few years earlier. He plans to continue his education at BYU upon his return. We feel very blessed to be a family together.