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Dr. Margaret N. Lewis

Monday, December 03, 2012 at 9:44 am

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. And SALISBURY COVE — Dr. Margaret N. Lewis, 101, of Cambridge, Mass., and Salisbury Cove died Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, at the Mt. Auburn Hospital. She was the daughter of the late Warren Harmon Lewis and Margaret Reed Lewis.

Dr. Lewis was born Aug. 21, 1911, in Baltimore, Md. She grew up and attended schools in Baltimore with her siblings, the late Warren R. Lewis. and Jessica Lewis Myers. Much of her childhood was spent in Salisbury Cove, where her parents were founding members of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. Dr. Lewis was active in her support of the Laboratory, endowing the Lewis Science Lecture series named for her sister, and supporting many building and scientific endeavors. Dr. Lewis graduated from Goucher College in 1931 with an AB in physics. She received her Ph.D. in physics from the Johns Hopkins University in 1937. She had a long and celebrated career teaching physics at several renowned universities and colleges. She joined the faculty of the Harvard University Observatory in 1961, where she remained until her retirement in 1986. After her retirement, Dr. Lewis taught and took classes at the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement. She published several poems and was working on a children’s book about a dragon named Fung Ling before her death. Dr. Lewis was a great admirer of nature and had a particular fondness for the native flora and fauna of Mount Desert Island. She will long be remembered for feeding “Chippy,” a chipmunk she trained to eat peanuts from her hand.

She is survived by nieces, Margaret Hellberg of Olympia, Wash., Jessica R. Myers of Salisbury, Md., Elizabeth R. Myers of New York, N.Y., and Margaret A. Myers of Radnor, Pa.; and nephews, John H. Lewis of Arlington, Va., and W. Stephen Lewis of Bothel, Wash., as well as many great-nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Dr. Lewis’ life will be held in Salisbury Cove next summer. Donations in her memory may be made to the Mt. Desert Island Biological Laboratory, P.O. Box 35, Salisbury Cove, ME 04672. Arrangements are being made by Keefe Funeral Home, Cambridge, Mass.

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