Ex-BYU v.p. Ben Lewis, 'Bow Tie Ben,' dies at 91

Published: Monday, Oct. 24 2005 12:00 a.m. MDT

PROVO — Former Brigham Young University vice president Ben Elden Lewis, well known as "Bow Tie Ben" around campus, has died. He was 91.

Lewis died at his home Thursday. He helped BYU get the funding to build the Marriott Center arena and expand the school's football stadium to 65,000 seats.

"His foresight, leadership and dedication helped to provide some of the finest athletic facilities in our nation," former BYU basketball coach Stan Watts said.

Lewis' fund-raising efforts also helped BYU, his alma mater, to build racquetball courts, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, an annex for the George Albert Smith Fieldhouse, lighted playing fields and the forming of the Cougar Club.

Lewis was student body president in 1940 when he graduated from BYU. He returned to the school in 1952, serving as an administrator for 27 years, ultimately as executive vice president. He was awarded an honorary doctor of business degree in 1970 and a BYU presidential citation in 2001.

Lewis is survived by his wife of 60 years, Barbara, five children, 21 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

A funeral service is scheduled for Wednesday in the Sharon East Stake Center in Provo.

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