Mary Helen Thrun Lewis

June 25, 1925 ~ April 27, 2021 (age 95)


Mary Helen Thrun Lewis, passed away April 27, 2021 peacefully at home. She was born June 25, 1925 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Bessie Helen Russell and Walter Eugene Thrun. Mary was preceded in death by her parents and her husband Don. Mary had one sister, Caroline Adams, who preceded her in death.

Mrs. Lewis graduated from Valparaiso High School in Valparaiso, Indiana and attended Valparaiso University. On May 20, 1944 she eloped to marry Donald Forrest Lewis. She was a secretary to a general in the Army during WWII. She and her husband were one of the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchisees. Colonel Sanders himself taught them how to make his Original Recipe chicken using his secret herbs and spices, although they never divulged his recipe. They were recognized for 32 hears of service and having 5 Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Mishawaka and South Bend, Indiana. She was very devoted to her family and very proud of her family ties to the American Revolution and was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She and her husband retired to Florida in 1990. She moved to Brandon, Mississippi in 2007, upon the death of her husband, to live with her daughter and son in law.

Surviving are Karen Reed (RJ) of Brandon, MS, Jim Lewis (Jessica) of Indianapolis, Indiana, Kim Piper of Brandon, MS, Laura (Joe) Rente of South River, NJ. She is also survived by seven grandchildren, Justin Reed, Jeffrey (Alaina) Reed, Andrew and Aubrey Lewis, Shayne Piper and Ben and Sara Rente. She also had 5 great grandchildren, Caroline, Rigby, Lilly, Ryan and Oliver Reed.

The family would like to thank all of her caregivers. Many thanks to Mary Cross who took care of Mary for 4 years. They would also like to thank Vet Attend/Grace Professional Care including Lori Stewart, Luann Olsen, Alecia Gibson, Rhonda Moore, Kathy Ethridge, Ollie Neal, Kallie Minnela and Amy Waggoner for their excellent care. Thanks also to Stay Home Hospice for helping her to stay home comfortably at the end of her life.

Visitation and funeral services will be held at Moeller Funeral Home in Valparaiso, IN. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Batson Children’s Hospital at 2500 N. State St. Jackson, MS 39216. Ott & Lee Funeral Home in Brandon, MS handled local arrangements.

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