Bengals mourn passing of Marvin Lewis' father

Posted Apr 17, 2014

Marvin Lewis Sr., the Ohio River mill worker often credited with bequeathing his son the toughness and work ethic that have defined his teams in Cincinnati for a dozen years, died Thursday afternoon in a Pittsburgh area hospital after a long illness.

The father of Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, Lewis Sr. was 79. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Vanetta, his son, and two daughters. Arrangements are pending.

Lewis worked for 31 years on the Ohio at Shenango Steel and retired as a foundry foreman. But he was also known around his hometown of McDonald, Pa., for being a world-class handyman. After serving in the Army he returned to build the home where he lived the rest of his life while helping one neighbor build others. He also helped another neighbor start a garbage and trucking company.

He was also known to be fiercely proud of his three children that all got college scholarships.

In July of 2003 just before his son’s first season as head coach, Lewis Sr. told of a conversation around the time Junior was going to graduate from Idaho State. The father expressed concern about how far a black coach could go, a very real question in 1980.   

“He said, 'Daddy, you go to that mill every day and you hate that job. I want to do what I like to do,'" Senior recalled that day in McDonald. "I did hate that job, but that took care of the family. I didn't like school. I didn't go to college. If you don't get it from the ground up, it's so hard to catch up."

At that point his wife reminded him of his children’s accomplishments: "I tell him he's got a degree in education, engineering, psychology, and criminology.”



Recent Articles

  • Rams at Bengals Preview

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted 9 hours ago

    St. Louis Rams at Cincinnati Bengals Preview

    Views: 349
  • Dunlap named this week's NFLPA community MVP

    Posted 12 hours ago

    This Thanksgiving, thousands of families across the nation were able to share a holiday meal because of the generosity of NFL players. Fifty of those benefitting were at the Boys & Girls Club in Avondale, Ohio as Cincinnati Bengal Carlos Dunlap and his foundation handed out turkeys to those in need.

    Views: 218
  • Notes: Dennard back for camp; Ced activated; Foles expected; Adam Jones salutes Fisher; Weather call

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted 14 hours ago

    The Bengals made it official Friday when they activated rookie backup tackle Cedric Ogbuehi and put backup cornerback Darqueze Dennard on season-ending injured reserve with a dislocated shoulder as the last two first-round picks exchanged places for the stretch run.

    Views: 2,519
  • Fantasy Forecast: Week 12

    By James Morris - Posted 17 hours ago

    Week 11 was a disaster for fantasy owners with season-ending injuries.

    Views: 577
  • Fast forward

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted 17 hours ago

    The Bengals defense gets the opposite of last week in Arizona. On Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 19) at Paul Brown Stadium, they face a Rams team led by rookie running back Todd Gurley that averages 174 yards passing.

    Views: 1,687

Recent Videos