Gavin Lewis

Obituary of Gavin Lewis

Obituary, Gavin Lewis

Gavin Edward Harry Lewis died peacefully at home, in the company of his loving wife, on January 20, 2019, in Princeton, New Jersey. He was a few days short of seventy-six.

Born in Sutton, Surrey, England in 1943, Gavin Lewis was the son of the late Michal Hambourg, a celebrated concert pianist, and the late Edward Lewis, an architect. Gavin attended Westminster School in London and then Oxford University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in History. He then earned his Ph.D. in History from Princeton University. His doctoral studies took him to Vienna, Austria and to Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, where he met his future wife Nadia Katyk. After their wedding in Bratislava in 1978, Nadia joined Gavin in New York City. Soon after, they settled in Princeton, NJ.

For over thirty years, Gavin taught Western Civilization to undergraduate students at John Jay College of Criminal Justice-CUNY. His research and publications include studies of central European history, Sumerian civilization, Athenian politics and religion, print and culture in the Renaissance, and the decipherment of Egyptian writing. With historian Thomas H. Greer, Gavin co-authored A Brief History of the Western World, a widely-used undergraduate textbook. Gavin is also the author of Church and Party in Political Catholicism: The Clergy and the Christian Social Party in Lower Austria, 1887-1907; Tomás Masaryk; Close-Ups of the Past: Western Civilization Case Studies; and WCIV. He also worked as a book editor, editing countless works of scholarship for major university presses.

Throughout his life, both professionally and personally, Gavin was a tremendous reader and writer. His commitment to the study of history and the humanities persisted well into his retirement, and he was at work on a book about the Roman Fifth Macedonic Legion at the time of his death.

Above all, Gavin Lewis cherished his family life. He was a devoted husband to his wife of forty years. Together, they raised four children and, in recent years, took great joy in their five grandchildren. Gavin Lewis is survived by his wife, Nadia, his son Michael and his wife Irena, his daughter Anna and her husband Nicholas, his son Alexander and his wife Mandy, his daughter Dorothea and her husband Béla, as well as by five grandchildren, Nicholas, Sofia, Clara, Isadora, and Henry.

Gavin Lewis was buried at Princeton Cemetery on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. He will be greatly missed and his memory cherished.

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