On December 16, a day after being in a car accident and being transported from Prince Rupert to Terrace and then on to Vancouver, the Reverend Katherine Lewis died. She was 73.
Katie had been on her way to the weekly Bible Study that was part of the ongoing training of the Port Edward Parish’s recently ordained priests at the time of the accident. She was a passenger in a van driven by close friend Lorna Martinson.
Reports of the accident were that the road and weather conditions were poor and visibility was reduced. They were hit head on by a pickup coming towards them in the poor conditions. The pair were rushed to hospital in Prince Rupert where Mrs. Martinson was treated and released while Rev. Lewis was sent to Terrace and then onto Vancouver for further tests and medical care. After arrival in Vancouver, Rev. Lewis suffered a heart related incident and could not be revived.
A traditional memorial service held at the local Civic Centre was well attended by people from across the area and the Diocese. Rev. Lewis’ funeral was held St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Prince Rupert. Rev. Lewis had been ordained priest there on February 29, 2012; just months prior to the accident. The funeral was conducted by Bishop William Anderson assisted by several of the diocesan clergy.
In his homily, the Bishop noted, “I should explain that when I first met Katherine, I had only recently been consecrated as the bishop of our diocese. I met her through John and Lorna, who introduced her to me as a true prayer warrior who was heavily involved in the prayer ministry of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer. That ministry was one she pursued faithfully and regularly, working diligently with John and Lorna on behalf of her Lord. That commitment to Christ and his Church ultimately led to her being recommended to me for ordination first as a deacon and later as a priest. She did not become a priest because she achieved academic honours – though I know she studied and worked towards this for years. She did not become a priest because of the many years of service she gave to her parish. She became a priest because ultimately through her colleagues and her Church saw within her the heart of a priest – a heart that loved the Lord and sought to carry that love to. Katherine had a passion to serve people just as our Lord has… if our Christian faith means anything to us this morning it is exactly this: through baptism we members of the Body of Christ. Christ lives. And Katherine lives in Christ, just as we do. And so we have not lost her – she stands here this morning, before the throne of heaven, alongside us. And that is where in the days ahead, we can continue to share her life. Katherine is not from us. She is gone from the world, yes. but now she stands with the rest of the Church triumphant who join with the faithful on earth in worshipping God and praying for us as we continue our Christian journey.”