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Chargers Mourn Passing of Longtime Staff Member Dick Lewis

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The Chargers are mourning the passing of Dick Lewis, a beloved former staff member who spent more than three decades with the organization.

Lewis, who passed away earlier this week at the age of 86, was known for his immense heart and constant willingness to give back to his community.

"Dick always saw the good in others," said Chargers Owner and Chairman of the Board Dean Spanos. "Whether he was visiting retirement homes and entertaining the elderly with his band 'Time Out' or helping feed the homeless at various shelters across San Diego, he cared deeply about people. Generous with his time almost to a fault, Dick lived a remarkable life of service. I have no doubt, in large part because of the countless lives he touched, that his legacy will live on for years and years to come."

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Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson also reflected on Lewis' undeniable impact.

"Dick Lewis was one of the best men I've ever met. I was very fortunate as a young man to get to know him very early in my Charger career," Tomlinson said. "Dick had a way of making you feel special, making you feel welcome and making you feel loved. He had that open-door policy that anything you wanted to talk about, anything you needed, you could go to him and sit in his office and if he didn't have the answers, he would go find them.

"He never seemed to have a bad day," Tomlinson continued. "Even when you knew it probably wasn't the greatest day he was having, he didn't want you to know it and he never made you feel like he was having a bad day. Every day seemed to be a great day for Dick Lewis.

"He exuded that amongst the people around him," Tomlinson added. "He was someone everybody wanted to be around because he made you feel good, he made you feel loved. Dick Lewis is going to be sorely missed."

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Lewis was named the Chargers Director of Community Outreach in 2012 after spending 26 years as Director of Security.

He began a weekly tradition of taking players and coaches to serve meals to the homeless and expanded the program by incorporating teens and young adults receiving drug rehabilitation treatment at the McAllister Institute.

He also took players to visit hospitals and police dispatch centers and helped them become mentors to troubled teens. In 2010, the Salvation Army honored Lewis with its Partners in Mission Award for his dedication to helping the homeless.

Lewis was also honored with the 2019 Ernest H. Wright Humanitarian Award by the San Diego Sports Association.

Lewis joined the Chargers full-time in 1989 upon retirement from the San Diego Police Department as a patrol officer. He was a member of the department's school task force and an assistant to the Chief of Police for community relations.

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Highly regarded for his work in keeping a lid on racial tension and gang activities during the 1970s and 80s, Lewis was honored by the San Diego Police Museum in February 2010 during Black History Month.

From 1955-68, Lewis was a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy serving with the Marines. He performed two 13-month tours in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, earning numerous accolades, including a Purple Heart, a Vietnam Service Medal, and three National Defense & Good Conduct Awards.

Lewis was born in Texas and attended Hilliard High School. He earned bachelor's and doctorate degrees in law from Cabrillo Pacific University.

Former Chargers outside linebacker Shawne Merriman paid his respects to Lewis this week on social media.

Ed McGuire, the Chargers Executive Vice President of Football Administration/Player Finance, first met Lewis when McGuire joined the Bolts in 1998.

McGuire said Lewis' legacy will live on forever.

"He had a love of every person that walked this planet," McGuire said. "And you've heard the expression of 'giving someone the shirt off your back?' He would personally do that. I've never seen a person have a bigger heart."

McGuire later added: "It didn't matter who you were. You could be the President of the United States or anyone in this building, he treated everyone the same. A great, great man."

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