When Dr. Daniel W. Lewis' health began to decline five years ago, his wife, Elaine, became his primary caregiver. Then she had a stroke in June, paralyzing her left side, but was able to return to home in Gladwyne in August.
The couple, married for 61 years, spent their days side by side, he in bed, she in her wheelchair, holding hands, talking, listening to classical music, watching TV, and visiting with friends and family. He called her "Sweetie." She called him "Dan dear."
Elaine Frohner Lewis, 89, died Monday, Jan. 30, of complications of a stroke. Her husband, 93, died Thursday, Feb. 2, of heart failure.
The couple met when he visited her brother Richard, a friend from medical school, at the Frohner home in Logan. He took one look at her coming down the steps and decided he was going to marry her. She fell in love early in their courtship when she wasn't feeling well and he looked down her throat.
They married in 1950. She stayed home to raise their two daughters in Drexel Hill and was a volunteer with the American Heart Association. He pursued a career as a cardiologist. When their children were grown, she assisted him in his office in Center City.
In 1965, they moved to Gladwyne, where he gardened and she took their grandchildren sledding.
They played golf together at Philadelphia Country Club and attended St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, where he was a lay reader and a member of the vestry. They traveled in the Western United States, Europe, and the Middle East.
"They taught us how to care about the world - to be gracious and appreciate the people you meet," their daughter Susan Lewis said.
Dr. Lewis grew up in North Philadelphia and graduated from Simon Gratz High School. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1940 and graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1944. He interned at Episcopal Hospital before serving for two years in the Army Medical Corps in the States.
After his discharge, he completed a residency in internal medicine at Jefferson and a residency in cardiology at Philadelphia General Hospital.
In 1950, he joined the faculty of Jefferson Medical College and eventually became chief of the adult cardiac clinic. From 1970 to 1975, he was a clinical associate professor of medicine at Hahnemann Medical College.
For 26 years, he was chief of cardiology at St. Agnes Medical Center. When he retired as chief in 1991, he received numerous tributes from grateful patients, Susan Lewis said.
Dr. Lewis remained on the staff at St. Agnes, maintained his Center City practice, and was a consultant in Social Security disability cases until 1999.
A scholar, he taught himself Greek and always believed in the importance of learning Latin, his daughter Deborah Meloni said. He seemed to be reading all the time, she said.
Mrs. Lewis graduated from Olney High School and attended George Washington University for two years.
When her daughters were growing up, she spent summers with them at her parents' home in Ocean City, N.J. Later, she vacationed in Avalon with her grandchildren and had her own boogie board, Susan Lewis said.
She was a talented artist and cooked gourmet food, hurricane style, whirling around the kitchen and taking out every dish in the cabinet, Susan Lewis said.
Besides their daughters, Dr. and Mrs. Lewis are survived by seven grandchildren.
A funeral was Saturday, Feb. 4, at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 226 Righters Mill Rd., Gladwyne, Pa., 19035.
Donations may be made to the church.