Julia Bonita Lewis Miller passed away March 17, 2023, in Dallas. She was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, on Aug. 9, 1937, to Morris Lewis, Jr., and Freda (Lantor) Lewis. She had an older brother, Morris Lewis III. She was extremely close with her parents and brother and loved them dearly. She lived most of her life in Indianola, Mississippi.
Julia graduated from Indianola High School. She attended H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College of Tulane University and the University of Colorado. She was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority.
Julia Lewis married Jerry Miller in Indianola at her parents’ home and moved to Denver before relocating back to Indianola. She moved to Houston and then Dallas three years ago to be closer to family. She and Jerry had two sons, Scott Lewis Miller and Geoffrey Lewis Miller. She and Jerry divorced, but they remained close throughout the years.
She worked at Sunflower Food Store, the family business, as a bookkeeper. She was a member and was deeply involved in many organizations. She was a Cub Scout den leader, officer of the Pilot Club, member of the board of directors of the Indianola Country Club, ran the Duplicate Bridge club and was a leader in the Chamber of Commerce. However, her most important and meaningful role was that of an incredible mother to her two sons as she was actively engaged in raising Scott and Geoffrey.
Julia loved going to the movies with family and friends. “Gone with the Wind” and “The Ten Commandments” were her favorite movies. Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner were her favorite actors, and it was Yul Brynner’s public service announcements which inspired her to quit smoking. One of her favorite interests was golf, in which she was the Ladies Club Champion for many years at the Indianola Country Club. She was a superior bridge player, became a Life Master and loved teaching bridge. She enjoyed other card and board games. She relished gambling in Las Vegas and other casinos, playing blackjack and the nickel slot machines for hours. She enjoyed tap dancing, bowling, tennis, knitting and of course attending her children’s and grandchildren’s many activities and sports events. She was a dog-lover and was superb at cooking and baking. She treated everyone the same way and made everyone she met feel special. She was philanthropic, family-oriented and traveled the world. Her favorite place to be was anywhere with her family and friends. She was very popular, smart, kind and a beautiful woman on the outside and inside.
She was Jewish and loved her faith. She grew up as a member of the Hebrew Union Congregation in Greenville, Mississippi, and was a very active member at the Houston Congregation of Reform Judaism.
She was preceded in death by her parents Morris Lewis, Jr., and Freda (Lantor) Lewis; her brother, Morris Lewis III; brother-in-law Robert Talpers; her two sisters-in-law Harriet Lewis and Henrietta Talpers; her aunts and uncles Norma and Celian Lewis, Fay and Joe Berman, Nathan and Raynell Lantor, Frances Ehrlich and William Lantor.
Julia leaves behind to cherish her memory her sons Scott and his wife Julie and Geoffrey and his wife Kathy. Her beloved grandchildren are Madelyn Ilana Miller, Landon Reid Miller, Jillian Faith Miller, Olivia Miller Tibbetts and her husband Austin and Blake Lewis Miller. Her one precious great-grandchild is Jackson Lewis Tibbetts.
She maintained special relationships with Jerry Miller, formerly of Denver, Houston and now San Antonio; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Sue and Jerry Deutser, of Houston; cousins Joan Burwell of Jackson, Mississippi; Bob and Sondy Berman of Boca Raton, Florida, Henry and Rose Paris of Oxford, Mississippi; Karen and Steven Castellaw of Atlanta, Georgia; Arthur and Mary Jane Lantor of Advance, North Carolina; nephews Lew and Stacy Lewis of Caldwell, New Jersey, Charles Lewis of Roswell, Georgia, Andy and Alisa Lewis of Decatur, Georgia; friend Al Lapidus of Houston; and her best childhood friend Libba Bailey of Pineville, North Carolina.
Julia had very special relationships with her parents, children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends she encountered throughout her life. She will be greatly missed.
A memorial service with a reception to follow will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 16, at Temple Emanu-El, 8500 Hillcrest Road, Dallas, with Rabbi Debra Robbins officiating. A graveside service will follow at a later date at her burial site next to her parents in Greenville, Mississippi.
The family asks that any donations be made in Julia’s name to Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas, the Institute of Southern Jewish Life, or the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience.