Diane & Ray Lewis
Posted on 05/16/2024
Diane & Ray Lewis

Residents for over 50 years, Diane and Ray Lewis have been supporters of Newcastle since well before its official inception, serving the community for decades in several ways.

Ray and Diane Lewis moved into then-unincorporated Renton area in1973 when they relocated from Bellingham. Diane had graduated from UW School of Communications and worked as a reporter for the Bellingham Herald. Ray was attending graduate school at Western Washington University when they met.

(They just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary March 23, 2024!)

Four years later, they were expecting son Stephen, and Ray was offered a job at Boeing. He worked with Boeing Commercial engineering investigating the fatigue, durability, and damage tolerance on various Boeing planes. He later worked in aerodynamic support for documentation to simulator manufacturers.

Diane and Ray have three sons: Stephen, Peter, and Andrew. Diane was very involved with Renton schools via PTA and district committees. Ray remained an active force in his sons’ lives via coaching sports, Y Guides, and Scouts.

Diane and Ray were founding members of the Hazelwood Community Association, formed in the mid 1980’s, after awakening one day to sudden clear-cutting and dynamite explosions in the green belt behind their home. King County had not notified residents that the land behind Donegal, which would become the Olympus development, had been exchanged for what is now Lake Boren Park. Diane was the so-called “President for Life” of the Hazelwood Community Association, even though others took on the position through the years.

At this same time, conversations had begun about the area becoming a city, and meetings were held about its formation. Diane and Ray were in favor of the new city. Thirty years ago, Newcastle was officially established.

Diane focused her energy on the formation of a Parks Commission and served on it for over 20 years. She watched the morphing of the Parks Commission into the Community Activities Commission and resigned her tenure in 2023.

After retirement, Ray’s interests focused on historical Newcastle and its coal mining beginnings. He studied the early days of Newcastle, the pioneer cemetery, and the Chinese workers who helped the area grow. He helped design the Newcastle historical signs around the city.

Both were actively involved with the rewrite and update of the book, The Coals of Newcastle. Diane was an editor of the book and Ray researched information on early settlers and the early railroads.

Ray and Diane received the 2016 Diamond Award “for outstanding contribution to the Newcastle community.”

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