The Final Ride

Heart KC

By Peggy Bair

This is a tribute page dedicated to Terence “Chappie” Lewis of Leavenworth, KS, whose life was taken by COVID-19

On April 20, 2020, Terri Micquel shared the news of her husband:

It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must share and it hurts me deeply to say that my husband, Terence Terry Lewis passed away about 11:30pm, Sunday night, April 20, 2020, after a month long battle with Covid-19. He fought a most valiant fight and will forever be a warrior in my eyes. I am forever grateful for every prayer spoken on his behalf and all the love and support shown to me. He no longer has to “Walk on Water”. Now, he walks with our God. ~ Terri Micquel

Terence Terry Lewis and his wife Terri Micquel

Friends gathered in a motorcade Friday, May 1, 2020, to honor a deeply religious leader in the Leavenworth community and chaplain of the Fort Leavenworth Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club. Terence “Chappie” Lewis. Lewis was stricken ill and succumbed to COVID-19 after a month long battle.

His life was remembered and honored by those who gathered and found a way to abide by the Kansas guidelines for funerals but still honor their loved one. (Ed. note: the photographs seen here are taken with very long lenses that compress scenes and make subjects appear closer than they actually were). Using cars, social distancing and masks and escorts to keep the procession organized, those wishing to pay their respects were able to still be present but just from the needed distances and outdoors.

The Fort Leavenworth Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club has been active since 2016, which is when Lewis and his wife Terri Micquel became members. Terry’s road name with the club was “Chappie.”

Chaplain Terry “Chappie” Lewis

The focus of the club was to “promote a positive image among African Americans that would be respected in the community and throughout the country.” The Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club was founded out of Chicago in October, 1993. The name Buffalo Soldiers was initially selected to pay homage to and ensure the legacy of African American military contributions in the post Civil War era. There are currently over 100 chapters throughout the United States now. The groups support a number of charitable organizations including scholarships, food and fund drives, the March of Dimes and Toys for Tots. They also are mentors for youth and educational programs to share heritage of roles African Americans have played in the history of the United States.

In particular, the Fort Leavenworth Chapter adds: “We ‘do good in the hood’ through community service such as, feeding the homeless, awarding scholarships for graduating high school seniors and riding out motorcycles in support of organizations such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation.”

Members of the Fort Leavenworth Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club greeted cars passing through the entrance to Mount Muncie Cemetery Saturday, May 1, 2020, in a parade show of support for the family of Terence “Terry” Lewis, who passed away April 20, 2020 after a month long battle with COVID-19. Only a small number of family were allowed at the actual services but the rest of his family and friends came with their cars and motorcycles in a show of support for Lewis which they called his “Final Ride” – Lewis’s road name was “Chappie”. ©2020 Peggy Bair/Heart KC
Terri Micquel spoke in a video for the benefit of friends who could not be inside the service at Charter Funeral Home in Merriam, KS, for her husband Terence “Terry” Lewis of Leavenworth, KS. The service was limited to 10 or fewer people as per state guidelines in Kansas. contributed photo

The cars of Terence “Terry” Lewis family members were escorted by members of Ft. Leavenworth Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club. Lewis was a longtime member of the organization. contributed photo

Escorting the family into Mount Muncie Cemetery in Leavenworth, KS, were members of the Ft. Leavenworth Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club. ©2020 Peggy Bair/HeartKC
The funeral for Lewis was recorded for the benefit of those who could not attend due to Kansas gatherings restriction. contributed photo
Terri Micquel walked to her husband’s gravesite in the tiny funeral service held Friday, May 1, 2020 at Mount Muncie Cemetery in Leavenworth, KS contributed photo

James “Bam Bam” Lee was a part of the brotherhood of about 20 motorcycle escorts that accompanied the family of Terence “Terry” Lewis from Charter Funeral Home in Merriam to Mount Muncie Cemetery in Leavenworth, KS on Friday, May 1, 2020. Friends came and stayed in their cars at the funeral home and distant at the cemetery as only the few family were allowed at the gravesite. The group made it work safely following guidelines but still honoring their friend.
©2020 Peggy Bair/Heart KC
Friends who could not attend the funeral services for Terence “Terry” Lewis still came to the cemetery as a show of support even though they were required to stay distant. ©2020 Peggy Bair/HeartKC
Terri Micquel carried a red balloon to be released in memory of her husband after a private graveside service at Mount Muncie Cementary in Leavenworth, KS 2020 Peggy Bair/Heart KC
Friends of Terry Lewis joined in a Zoom chat on Saturday evening, May 2, 2020, to share stories and memories. Lewis was a minister and was the chaplain of the Fort Leavenworth Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club.

Heart KC extends its gratitude to those who generously contributed photos and information as a part of the tribute and preservation of the memory of Terence Anthony “Chappie” Lewis.

Comments are open for others to add to this tribute.

Peggy Bair is a longtime area journalist credentialed with the American Society of Media Photographers Kansas City branch. She holds a journalism degree from UMKC and has written and photographed for six different newspapers over a 24 year career as a journalist and an award-winning photojournalist with the National Press Photographers Association. Her work has appeared also in USA Today, People Magazine and worldwide via Associated Press.

“I value every one of my story subjects for the honor of sharing them with the world. I believe every person is here for a reason and every person has a lesson to teach and a story to tell” – Peggy Bair

Social distancing is practiced and wearing a mask in certain settings where it is called for – as well as photographing with a long lens are best practices employed at this time. A 600mm lens was used for this assignment. Subjects in the story practiced safe social distancing even though they may appear in some photographs to be closer together. This is due to an illusion of compression that results from using a very long lenses like 300mm, 400mm or 600mm lenses. If there is an illusion of people looking like they are closer together, it is the illusion of lens compression.

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