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Glenn Lewis

A Stalwart Leader in Times of Adversity

The passing earlier this year of Glenn Lewis, a jeweler who later made his mark as the longtime mayor of Moore, continues to reverberate throughout this close-knit community in Cleveland County.

Glenn Delbert Lewis, who passed away at home April 28 after a lengthy illness, was born in Shawnee but moved with his family to Moore in July 1960. He graduated from Moore High School as Senior Class President in 1973, then attended the University of Oklahoma before transferring to the University of Central Oklahoma, where he graduated with a degree in municipal management.

At a young age, Glenn developed an interest in rock hunting and became a jeweler apprentice at age 16. He and his younger brother, Tim, opened Lewis Jewelers in 1976. Glenn's focus was on the manufacturing of wholesale and retail jewelry, serving multiple generations of customers for 45 years.

Eighteen years into his jewelry career, in 1994, Glenn was named mayor, embarking on a journey that would see him become one of the city’s longest-serving and most beloved leaders. During his 30-year tenure as mayor, he helped the city navigate several challenges, including devastating tornadoes and the tragic Oklahoma City bombing.

Yet, according to family, friends and supporters, it was during these tumultuous times that his steadfast commitment to his constituents shone brightest, guiding Moore through the darkest of days and inspiring hope in the face of adversity.

The tornado outbreak of May 3, 1999, forever altered the landscape of Moore, claiming numerous lives and leaving widespread devastation in its wake. As the community grappled with the enormity of the disaster, Lewis wasted no time in mobilizing resources and coordinating relief efforts. Under his guidance, the city rallied together, demonstrating resilience in the face of unimaginable loss. Lewis played a pivotal role in securing federal aid and implementing stricter building codes to mitigate future risks, laying the foundation for a more resilient Moore.

However, the resilience of Moore would be tested once again in 2013, when another powerful tornado tore through the city, leaving a path of destruction eerily reminiscent of the events of 1999. Once again, Lewis rose to the occasion, leading the city through the arduous process of recovery and rebuilding. His leadership proved indispensable as Moore navigated the challenges of restoring homes, businesses and infrastructure while providing support and solace to those affected by the tragedy.

It was not only natural disasters that tested the resolve of Moore and its mayor. On April 19, 1995, Oklahoma and the nation were rocked by the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. In the aftermath of this horrific event, Lewis demonstrated unwavering compassion and leadership, offering support to neighboring communities and aiding in relief efforts. His ability to unite Moore with the broader Oklahoma community was instrumental in fostering healing and resilience in the face of tragedy.

Throughout his tenure, Lewis's leadership extended beyond crisis management to encompass a vision for long-term growth and prosperity. He championed economic development initiatives, attracting businesses and investment to Moore while preserving its unique character and sense of community. Under his guidance, Moore experienced steady growth and prosperity, emerging as a vibrant and resilient city poised for the future.

“Glenn’s legacy is that of a stabilizer; he stabilized a very tumultuous city management situation,” said Deidre Ebrey, director of public affairs/economic development for the City of Moore, who worked alongside Glenn for many years.

“Not everyone saw eye-to-eye before he came into the picture,” she added. “When he came in, he immediately wanted to hear everyone out and bring communication back to the city. He wanted egos to be checked at the door and for solutions to be presented through discourse. He had a real knack for getting people to corroborate and come together as a team. He gave us stability so that we could push forward in the future.”

“I think he will be remembered as a man of integrity and as a man who loved his hometown and worked very hard for the city he called home,” said his brother, Tim Lewis.

“I think Glenn ultimately will be looked back on as a man who truly did a lot for this town.”

  • Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis surveys damage from the destructive May 3, 1999, tornadoes.