Carmen St. Clair Lewis
11 Jan 1955 - 21 Mar 1996
Carmen S. Lewis, the son of Olgie and Quincy Lewis, was born in Philadelphia on Jan. 11, 1955. He was an only child. Carmen was reared by parents of extremely modest means in the shabby, disadvantaged neighborhoods of North Philadelphia. Although proud and dignified people of mixed ethnic heritage (Native American - mostly Cherokee, Afican American and European - Irish, French and even Jewish! - Carmen's parents did not excel at parenting and could not properly rear a gifted and sensitive child. Carmen's childhood was not a happy one.
Despite his disadvantaged childhood and lack of support from his parents, Carmen developed exceptional talents and gifts intellectually and especially musically. After graduating Boy's High in Philadelphia, Carmen earned his bachelor's degree from Temple University. A musical genius, Carmen later earned Master's degrees from Northwestern University and the Juilliard School in New York. Carmen fell in love with New York City and lived there the last decade and a half of his life. Although he expertly played piano and organ, his specialty was choral and orchestral conducting. Among other prestigious venues, Carmen conducted at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
A busy and accomplished person, a million words could be written about Carmen Lewis: his interests, his many talents, his friends, his travels, his volunteerism, etc., but it must be noted above all Carmen was a proud gay man who devoted and lot of time and energy to the gay liberation cause. Carmen had many friends, a few who adored him. He was a terrific person - genuine, honest, generous, and he had a wonderful sense of humor.
Carmen learned he was HIV positive about 1992 but continued to enjoy good health until 1995, when signs of full blown AIDS appeared. Carmen died at age 41 on March 21, 1996. His friends miss him terribly, and pay homage to him by celebrating his birthday every year on or near Jan. 11th.
- findagrave.com website : accessed 30 Nov 2019