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Lewis Cole Nye, banker, veteran, armchair historian, cribbage enthusiast and intrepid cyclist, lost a valiant fight against pancreatic cancer on December 16, 2021.
The only child of Daniel Lewis Nye and Emily Beckwith Cole Nye, Lewis was bor... Read More
Lewis Cole Nye, banker, veteran, armchair historian, cribbage enthusiast and intrepid cyclist, lost a valiant fight against pancreatic cancer on December 16, 2021.
The only child of Daniel Lewis Nye and Emily Beckwith Cole Nye, Lewis was born in Hartford on March 26, 1930, and moved to Ellsworth Road as a toddler. Lewis’s memories of growing up in “The Center” included watching Korzcak Ziolkowski sculpt the Noah Webster statue, picking vegetables in the WWII Victory Garden at the corner of Ellsworth and LaSalle and setting up duckpins at the bowling alley on Farmington Avenue (his first job).
Grandson of Connecticut Adjutant General George Malpus Cole, Lewis served in the U.S. Navy. His banking career began at South End Bank & Trust Company as a “runner.” This entailed walking from Park Road (West Hartford) to Main Street (Hartford), delivering bags of checks to the clearinghouse. When it rained, he got five cents for bus fare. He also had to keep the lobby’s inkwells full. He retired as an Assistant Vice President in 1989 from Connecticut National Bank. Decades later, when dining at Effie’s Restaurant, he would point out the location of his former office behind its counter.
In the mid-1960s, a young widow, Isabella Lanza Arcell, came to work at the bank. The branch was a few blocks from her home on Lexington Road, perfectly located so that she could rush home to cook dinner for her three sons. Lewis soon became a regular at her bountiful table and at her sons’ ballgames. He also began a route and routine that continued for nearly 60 years, driving and later cycling, from Ellsworth to Lexington via Boulevard.
Fascinated by history, Lewis read constantly, even as he grew to need a 10X magnifying glass. He and Isabella traveled to historic sites around the world. They also enjoyed visiting their grandchildren, all of whom experienced Lewis’s cutthroat approach to cribbage at an early age. Lewis was a proud member of the Nye Family of America Association, Inc.
In addition to his parents, Lewis was predeceased by his stepmother Ruth Barker Nye, the love of his life Isabella and his stepsons Lawrence (Larry) Arcell and Andrew (Andy) Arcell. Lewis’s stepson Paul Arcell, Paul’s wife Cathleen and Larry’s widow Katherine cared for Lewis during his final illness and enabled him to die as he wished, at home and surrounded by his family. He was also survived by their children Christopher, Andrew, Katherine, Caroline (Ted) and Rachal (Danny) and by three great-grandchildren Declan, Danielle and Katherine.
Lewis was laid to rest with full military honors at Fairview Cemetery. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at 10:30, at St. James Episcopal Church, West Hartford. Masks are strongly encouraged. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society (noahwebsterhouse.org). Online condolences may be made at www.SheehanHilbornBreen.com
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