Gardner L. Lewis III, a restaurant owner and long involved in Falmouth town government, died October 7, after a several-months decline in his health. He died under hospice care at the home of his daughter in Florida.
Mr. Lewis was born in Norwich, Vermont, the son of Gardner L. and Cecilia Lewis. He graduated from the Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration in 1961. He moved to Falmouth in 1962, where he lived for two years before entering the Army for a two-year tour of duty. In the military, he managed the Officers Club at Fort Totten in the New York City area. He returned to Falmouth in 1964 and opened The Pancake Man, a seasonal restaurant on Davis Straits.
He served on the Falmouth Finance Committee from 1977 to 1985 and again from 2007 to 2013. He was a longtime member of the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce, named to its board of directors in 1986. He was named a director of the Falmouth Cooperative Bank in 1993. He was also a Town Meeting member for many years.
Gary Anderson, who was chairman of the finance committee while Mr. Lewis was vice chairman, said he enjoyed working with him and remembered Mr. Lewis as an intelligent and reflective individual with an unforgettable smile.
“One of the nice things about him was he had a calming influence on the committee and on me,” Mr. Anderson said. “And he had this wonderful smile, his whole face lit up. If he was chewing on whatever the problem might’ve been, he’d smile and you’d know those wheels were turning. He was just a pure, pure gentleman.”
Deborah Maguire also got to know Mr. Lewis through the finance committee and they would often discuss restaurant business together. Ms. Maguire remembers that when she first joined the committee, it was Mr. Lewis who sat down with her and made sure she was up to speed.
“I was always so grateful,” she said. “Remember in the EF Hutton commercial ‘when EF Hutton speaks, everybody listens’? When Gardner Lewis would speak at the finance committee, everybody listened.”
Mr. Lewis sold the Pancake Man in 1993 and afterward spent many winters in Naples, Florida. He and his wife, Margaret E. Lewis, eventually purchased a second home there. Ms. Lewis died in 2017 after a long battle with cancer. They had been married for 60 years.
On the Cape, Mr. Lewis enjoyed boating and fishing. In 1996 he served as chairman of the mooring task force that rewrote the town’s mooring regulations. He also played tennis and enjoyed cycling. In 1976 he built a log cabin in Jackson, New Hampshire, because of his fondness for hiking and skiing.
He leaves a son, David G. Lewis and his wife, Debbie Lewis, of Londonderry, New Hampshire, and a daughter, Jacqueline Ramirez and her husband, Gerry Ramirez, of Morriston, Florida; two grandchildren; a sister; a brother; and a number of nieces and nephews.
Interment will be held in the spring of 2022.