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Beloved Mother & Educator in BPS

Delores S. Lewis, affectionately known to many as “Lois”, was born in Boston, MA to Patrick Henry Wallace and Dilcy Burton on November 29, 1946. From the time of her arrival, she was not only a fighter and survivor, but a thriver in life. She was born prematurely, and tragically, her mother died when she was only 8 months old. However, her aunt, Savannah Burton Shavers, vowed on her sister’s death bed to take care of young Delores along with her own son, Aaron Shavers, Jr. who was born just two years later.

Delores was known for her raw candor, great humor and quick wit even from a young age. She had zero tolerance for disrespect and injustice, and she made it known that she didn’t play. She was exceptionally bright; she loved to read and learn new concepts and she was always a thinker and problem-solver. As a teenager, she attended Girls’ High school, and in her senior year of 1964 she married Alfred “Al” Smith. She gave birth to their first son Troy, and two other sons, Barry and Alan were soon to follow. Although the marriage came to an end, she was determined to succeed. She worked long, hard days while raising her three boys as a single mother. She was committed to pursuing her education and went to school at night, victoriously attaining her bachelors’ degree with honors from Wheelock College. She pushed even further and continued her education, receiving her Master’s of Education with honors from Boston State College (now known as UMASS Boston). 

Delores had an amazing gift for teaching and served as a well-respected educator in the Boston Public Schools (BPS) for over 30 years; the majority of which were spent at Madison Park High School. Many students confided in her and knew that when she was speaking firmly it was done with love. She was innovative and provided a wealth of unique opportunities for the students such as putting on plays, hosting a fancy-dress ball, reviving the Archonettes (an auxiliary group within Delores’ sorority), and taking students on an amazing cruise to Nova Scotia, to name a few. She maintained lifelong relationships with some of her students who stayed in touch with her regularly even up until her last days.

On January 2, 1976 she married Rev. Murphy A. Lewis, a 40+ year educator in BPS, and from that union two children were born: Koriana and Jonathan. Delores’ family was her ultimate pride and joy, and she taught them to stick together no matter what. The seven of them spent blissful years together, sharing among their many various gifts and deep loves, that of music. Music of all genres could be heard ringing through every room, especially when it was time to clean the house and prepare for the holidays. Christmas and Thanksgiving gatherings were the most fun, and hearty laughter could always be heard rolling throughout the halls.

In March of 1992, Delores proudly joined Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. where she tirelessly served her community, and truly lived out the sorority’s ideals of scholarship, service, sisterly love and finer womanhood. She was credited with resurrecting some of the sorority’s auxiliary groups within her local Delta Omicron Zeta chapter: the Amicae, for women who had not yet graduated college, Archonettes, for adolescents, Amicettes, for young girls and Pearlettes for the earliest learners. Through this organization she held several leadership positions while having the opportunity to travel far and wide. She helped women and girls of all ages learn how to take pride in their education, how to dress for success and maintain proper hygiene, how to work hard to achieve goals and dreams, and most importantly, to love and respect themselves and others.

It was Delores’ strong faith and close relationship with Jesus Christ that carried her through the most difficult times in her life. She shared her faith and encouraged others, and was widely known amongst her friends and family as the counselor everyone turned to for advice. In the spring of 2002 she led her family in reconnecting with a church home that loved and supported her to the very end; that home was The Historic Charles St. AME Church in Boston, MA under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Gregory G. Groover Sr., whom she considered one of her sons.

Delores is preceded in death by her natural birth parents, Patrick Henry Wallace and Dilcy Burton, adopted parents, Savannah Burton and Aaron Shavers Sr. , brothers Phillip Wallace and Charlie Burton, husband, Rev. Murphy A. Lewis and son, Barry M. Smith. She leaves to mourn and live out her legacy, her children, Rev. Troy Smith, Alan Smith (Melanie), Koriana Lewis Bradford (Clint), and Jonathan A. J. Lewis, her brother, Aaron Shavers, Jr. and brother-friend, Joseph Jackson (Philip). She also leaves her grandchildren: Oscar, LeSean, Alexis, Joshua, Alliyah, Alina, Malachi, Ava, Benjamin, Victoria, Ethan, great-grandsons Jeremy, Damani, Anthony and Cairo, and great-granddaughter Carter. She will be sorely missed by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family members, colleagues, neighbors, and friends.

Homegoing Arrangements:

Saturday, February 5, 2022

The Historic Charles St. AME Church

Roxbury, MA 02119

Viewing: 9-11 am

Service: 11am

Interment: Forest Hills Cemetery


February 5, 2022 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


February 5, 2022 9:00 am - 11:00 am