Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
R.S. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home
Founded in 1914 by Robert Stevenson Lewis Sr. and later operated by sons Robert Jr. and Clarence, the family business became committed to improving the quality of life for African-Americans in the community. Among their achievements, in the 1920s Robert Sr. owned baseball's Negro American League Memphis Red Sox and financed Martin Stadium. also called Lewis Park. In the 1950s Robert Jr. helped establish T.O. Fuller State Park, one of the first state parks open to African-Americans. In 1968 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the nearby Lorraine Motel, Robert Jr. was asked by King's aides to prepare and restore Dr. King's body, which lay in state at R.S. Lewis & Sons. Hundreds gathered for the viewing and memorial service for the civil rights legend.
Erected 2014 by R.S. Lewis and Sons Funeral Home and Shelby County Historical Commission.
Location. 35° 8.118′ N, 90° 2.962′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is on Vance Avenue 0 miles east of 4th, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 374 Vance Ave, Memphis TN 38126, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Universal Life Insurance Building/Universal Life Insurance Company The Memphis Home of W.C. Handy (approx. ¼ mile away); Church Park Auditorium (approx. ¼ mile away); This Plaque is Dedicated to Father and Son, Leaders of Their Race (approx. ¼ mile away); Sara Roberta Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Church Park (approx. ¼ mile away); Mary Church Terrell (approx. ¼ mile away); Phi Beta Sigma/Abram Langston Taylor (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
Also see . . . The Assassination. In Memphis, before it was carried south toward home, King's body lay in state at the R. S. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home in an open bronze casket, the black suit tidily pressed, the wound in the throat now all but invisible. Many of those who filed past could not control their tears. Some kissed King's lips; others reverently touched his face. A few women threw their hands in the air and cried aloud in ululating agony. Mrs. King was a dry-eyed frieze of heartbreak. At the funeral this week, to be attended by many of the nation's and the world's great men, (Submitted on August 27, 2017, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.)
Categories. • African Americans • Charity & Public Work • Civil Rights •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 28, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 26, 2017, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 127 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 26, 2017, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.