Cumberland Times-News

December 20, 2013


Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — Ora Mae (Robertson) Lewis passed away at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, at age 94.

She was born Sept. 10, 1919 in Hazen, Pa., the daughter of the late William Francis Robertson and Mattie Dallas (Penrod) Robertson. Ora Mae was proud of her great family and loved to let others know that her father was born when Lincoln was President.  She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, William Charles Lewis Sr. on July 13, 1996. Being number 13 of 14 children, she is preceded in death by her brothers, Howard Dallas Robertson, Hayes McKinley Robertson, William Russell Robertson, Wyllys Willard Robertson and three brothers who died in infancy; also by her sisters, Lois LaVonne Robertson Young, Lucille Isabel Robertson Krampf, Vada May Robertson, and Dorothy Robertson Gettetly; by her half-brother, Guy Charles Robertson; and by her half- sister, Carrie May Robertson (Deihl).

Ora Mae graduated from Allegany High School, class of 1937 where she played varsity basketball. She graduated from Sacred Heart Hospital School of Nursing in 1940. As a young nurse she worked in the operating room at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C. She was there when World War II was declared.  

On April 5, 1942, Ora Mae married William Charles Lewis of Frostburg at Mt. Vernon Place Methodist Church in Baltimore and established her residence in Baltimore. During her stay in Baltimore, her son, William Jr., was born.  

Following the war, she and her family moved back to Cumberland. She was then employed as Medical and Surgical Supervisor, later becoming a teacher-trainer and instructor for Maryland State Nurses Association.  

In 1955, Ora Mae was called to American Heart Association as Executive Director of the Western Maryland Chapter. Under her guidance, the young heart association pioneered many programs for the local community especially: the cardiac diagnostic center under leadership of Peter Halmos, MD, CPR training for physicians, nurses, emergency personnel and the general public, rheumatic fever prevention and control program, fire side chats for physicians, professional and public education, blood pressure measurement and control program, annual cardiac nursing seminars, annual physician cardiac services, and sickness and oxygen equipment loan.

Ora Mae lived and loved her professional and patient relationships and was extremely active at the state, regional, and national level of American Heart.  

Locally Ora Mae served her community throughout her life. She was Chairman of Governor’s Physical Fitness of Allegany County for many years, and was inducted into the Physical Fitness Hall of Fame by Governor Schaffer. She was a member of Sacred Heart Hospital nurses alumnae serving as secretary for 10 years, a member of the advisory board, Allegany County Public Health Department serving as past chairman, a member of emergency medical services Region 11. She counseled and worked with Dr. Halmos in the granting of electrocardiology for emergency medical personnel comprehensive CPR for rescue personnel and public in Allegany and Garrett Counties.  

Ora Mae held life memberships in Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, receiving Order of the Rose in 1963 and the honor “Girl of the Year in 1957”. She was elected to Who’s Who of American Women in 1962. She is currently a member of Cumberland Rotary Club, serving as historian and recently received the Paul Harris Award.

Ora Mae completed 32 years with American Heart in 1986. Finding life in retirement was not for her, she decided to try her hand in the retail field. In 1986, she formed the W. C. Lewis Inc. and purchased Ankeney’s Office Supply in downtown Cumberland.

Retiring at age 85, she is survived by her loving and caring son, William C. Lewis Jr.; her dear grandson, William C. Lewis III and his loving wife, Rebecca Mowen Lewis; and special nieces, Kimberly Miltenberger and Shayna VanMeter and their families.  

It gave her pleasure to say she had 30 nieces and nephews, 39 great-nieces and nephews and 75 great-great-nieces and nephews, all of whom she lived to know and love.

Friends will be received at Scarpelli Funeral Home, P.A., 108 Virginia Ave., Cumberland, on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013 from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m.  

A memorial service will be held at Scarpelli Funeral Home, P.A., 108 Virginia Ave., Cumberland, ( on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Harold R. McClay Jr. officiating.

Interment will be at Sunset Memorial Park’s mausoleum.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Ora Mae Lewis Scholarship Fund in Nursing at Allegany College of Maryland or to American Heart Association.