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Roy A. Lewis

Roy A. Lewis, 78, from West Branch, passed away peacefully Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017.
Visitation was Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Henderson Barker Funeral Home, in West Branch, followed by a celebration of Roy’s life. The burial took place at the West Branch Cemetery.
Roy Alan Lewis was born Jan. 20, 1939 in rural Floyd County, Iowa the son of Roy Henry and Editha Minnie (Tibbits) Lewis. He was a graduate of Colwell Schools and attended Mason City Jr. College, later graduating from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force, serving in Alaska and South Carolina as a flight mechanic. Roy was united in marriage to Lorna Jeanne Wiltse. Roy and Lorna lived in South Carolina then Floyd, Iowa before moving to West Branch in 1966. They began R&L Rebuild, an auto body shop, before turning his lifelong love of building Street Rods into establishing Chassis Engineering, Inc. Roy had retired in 2000, but continued to consultant in the business and maintained his shop, working on several projects at all times.
He designed and built the “Chassis Engineering Special,” a diesel powered streamliner, which he drove on the Bonneville Salt Flats and holds the land speed record for his class.
In 2006, Roy became the first person in the world to drive a diesel powered vehicle over 300 mph.
Survivors include three children: Brent (Anne) Lewis of Conway, S.C.; Jeanne (Steve Tomas) Lewis-Tomas of Oxford; and Scott (Shuva Rahim) Lewis, of Iowa City. Grandchildren: Becca (Brian) Dinkins, Jonathon (Michaela) Dodi, Donna Lewis, Jessica Lewis, Amy Donovan, Heather Donovan, Tony Donovan, Rachel (Michael) Beach, Whitley Tomas, Clint (Samantha Stahle) Tomas, Christopher Tomas, Tanner Tomas and Aiden Tomas. Two great grandchildren Lyric Dodi and Brooklyn Tomas also survive. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Lorna, two brothers: Henry and Richard, as well as Richard’s his wife Verla, two sisters: Rhoda Naal and Sylvia Greene, and one great granddaughter Casie Dinkins.