By Mannix Porterfield
Draped across his vacant chair, a black ribbon inscribed with “In Memoriam” in white helped honor the late West Virginia Parkways Authority member Cameron “Cam” Lewis.
A moment of silence preceded Thursday’s monthly meeting, then another member, Doug Epling, at times choking with emotion, read a resolution honoring Lewis.
Lewis died suddenly last March 18, ending a tenure on the West Virginia Turnpike’s governing board that had begun Aug. 16, 2006.
A vice chairman of the authority, Lewis also served as chairman of the facilities committee and a member of its finance panel as well.
The 70-year-old Lewis played a key role in making improvements in the highway via the 10-year deferred maintenance program.
What’s more, Epling pointed out in the resolution, Lewis was instrumental in the construction of a new State Police detachment at Exit 95 in Charleston, which was completed a week after his untimely death.
“He was someone who always presented a professional appearance and was quick to share witty retort with his fellow members of the Parkways Authority and was always early for meetings,” Epling said.
Epling said his late friend always sought to provide customers of the Turnpike with “first-class travel” and supported the staff.
“He had the ability to quickly and clearly analyze problems and make decisions needed then to organize and carry out the solutions,” Epling said, reading from the resolution.
Lewis became fascinated with the Princeton-to-Charleston highway as a youngster, when he pedaled his bicycle to the edge of the roadway during the construction in the early 1950s.
His isn’t the only vacancy on the authority, however.
Philip Diserio resigned to take a seat in the House of Delegates as a Democrat representing Brooke County in District 2.
Turnpike Manager Greg Barr said he has no inkling when the two slots will be filled, pointing out the appointments must be made by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
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