Vickie Lucille Lewis
Vickie was born on February 24, 1959 to Betty and Gene Lewis, the third of four children. She attended Visitation School in Verboort, and St. Mary of the Valley before graduating from Forest Grove High School in 1977. She has a Bachelors Degree in journalism and business from Oregon State University in 1981, and has a Master’s Degree in Visual Communications from Ohio University.
Growing up, Vickie spent summers picking strawberries, and playing third base. Together with her family, she raised champion show dogs. She won many ribbons at the county and state fairs in knitting, sewing, photography, gun safety, dog obedience, showmanship, and was chosen to serve as an Ambassador to the National 4-H Congress. Above all, she shared her Dad’s interest in photography. It was when he built a darkroom in the basement that her passion developed and so her career was born. She took photos for the high school yearbook, and OSU’s newspaper, The Daily Barometer.
Vickie served as a staff photographer for the Des Moines (Iowa) Register, and then for the Albuquerque (New Mexico) Tribune. She covered floods, fires, and tornadoes. Some notable highlights during this part of her career include photographing Ronald Reagan during his presidency and Pope John Paul II during his US Tour.
Branching out to work on her own, Vickie spent several years working as a freelance photographer in New York and in Washington, D.C. Her photos appear in many books, including one entitled The Power to Heal, Ancient Arts & Modern Medicine, and a textbook produced at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism.
Vickie’s photos appeared in many publications including People, Parade, National Geographic World, the Washington Post Magazine, Stern, Fortune, Newsweek and The New York Times.
Vickie also won awards from the National Press Photographers Association, and the Society of Newspaper Design. She received the Roy Howard Award for Public Service in Journalism and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her story about Sage Volkman, a five-year old burn victim in New Mexico.
Vickie was always interest in broadening her horizons, and was afforded the opportunity to edit and produce a book Side-by-Side: A Photographic History of Women in War, in cooperation with the Military Womens’ Press.
After many years in the fast-paced, world of a photojournalist, she put down her camera and pursued other interests. In 2009 she resumed shooting, but this time from a fine art perspective. Vickie captured the beauty of the Washington DC Monuments, and the scenery of the Oregon Coast, and created a portfolio of floral and abstracts. She described these most recent additions to her life’s work as “shooting from the heart” because she felt connected to her artistic side. She took the luxury of returning often to a place five, eight, or even ten times in different weather and lighting conditions until she got the perfect shot.
Vickie’s career spanned amazing technical advances. Film and printed media became (almost) obsolete with the introduction of digital cameras, photo-editing software, and social media. As the industry evolved, Vickie may have felt temporarily displaced, but she rallied, and embraced social media to share her love of photography and technical expertise with others, especially in her last years. She was a teacher and mentor to many, hosting workshops on the East and West Coasts both online and in person. Her latest projects involved the use of social media for marketing and networking to share her lifetime of experiences with beginners,amateurs and other professionals, near and far.
After being diagnosed with cancer in 2014, she returned to Oregon to be closer to her family.
Her father, Gene Lewis, precedes Vickie in death.
She is survived by her mother, Betty Lewis, and siblings Laurie (Lloyd) Smith, and Terry Lewis all of Forest Grove, and Jill (Sydney) Lovely of Beaverton, and her six nieces and nephews, Crystal Smith, Greg (Bonnie) Smith, Jacob and Hailey Lewis, and Rachael and Kirstin Lovely. She leaves behind many close friends all across the country.
Vickie strongly believed in natural healing, with body, soul and spirit. She sought alternative methods of treatment, and in lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to research supporting her beliefs.
Contributions can be made to:
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
P.O. Box 19024 J5-200
Seattle, WA 98109-1024
Vickie Lewis Memorial