A Little Less Joy, A Little Less Laughter

Printed with Family's Permission

Albert J. Lewis was born to Elvina Broussard and Paul ‘Ben’ Lewis in Lake Charles, Louisiana on June 26, 1936. The family moved from Louisiana to California in 1947. As a child, Al’s gift for music was already evident, playing accordion for family functions as early as age 12. Al formed and led multiple Rock-N-Roll bands playing lead guitar and vocals. He played with some of the early R&B legends such as Bobby Freeman and Big Mama Thorton. Al was extremely proud of his military service in the United States Air Force. While stationed in the states, he became a member of the Drum and Bugle Corps where he learned about percussion instrumentation followed by an assignment in Korea. Al continued to hone his craft by continuing his formal musical education learning to read, write and compose music. His musical journey continued as he partnered with his sister, Ida Guillory and brother Willie Lewis to create the Queen Ida Bon Temps Zydeco band. Writing and composing many of the songs for the band led to world-wide recognition for him and the band and earned them a Grammy Award in 1981. Although well known for his musical talents, ‘Al-bere’ as he was affectionately known, was also regarded as the family ‘jokester’. Along with his sister Hazel, they were known to always have a joke or three that would keep the family and friends in ‘stitches’. Whenever you were around Al you could always count on having a good time along with a good laugh. Al was also talented in the kitchen. Undoubtedly learning a few tricks of the trade from his mother, Al would often cook a big pot of gumbo for family and friends to enjoy after gigs. He also enjoyed making menudo, bouille and other types of soups. His love for music was only surpassed by his love for his wife Alice of 45 years. Al always enjoyed being around his children, family and friends even when his illness would not allow him to participate as he wanted. His gift to the world was music and laughter which he gave in abundance for others to enjoy. His sacrifice and courage to pursue his musical gift despite ups and downs, good times and bad only exemplified his passion and love of bringing joy to others. As ‘Al-bere’ would say, ‘C’est la Vie and our hearts will dance in love again.’ Al takes these gifts with him from this world to the next as he joins his parents, Ben and Elvina, siblings, Agnes (Thomas), Hazel (Bellow), and Paul. He leaves to cherish his memories; wife Alice (Turner-Lewis). Children Albert Dyrness, Lisa Lewis-Dyrness, Ramona Cole, Vera Conrad, sisters, Ida (Guillory), Mabel-Joann (Guillory), brother Willie, sisters -in-law, Joan(Ernie), Juanita (Burdette), Maureen (Tim), Lonna (John), brothers in-law Gordon (Vicki), Raymond (Ali), Jerry. Special thanks to SFVA House Based Care and Crossroads Hospice for the caregiving.