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Lloyd Lewis, 71, of Glen Mills, who for 19 years worked to improve the living conditions of senior citizens, died Thursday from pneumonia after treatment for acute leukemia.
In 1971, Mr. Lewis began his work with the elderly when he became founding executive director of the Kendal Organization in Kennett Square and established Kendal at Longwood, the first of the Kendal nonprofit life-care retirement communities.
Before that, Mr. Lewis worked at the Vanadium Corp. of America in New York for 11 years; the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia for about two years; and Pendle Hill, a Quaker adult-education center in Wallingford, for 11 years.
But it was his work at Kendal that inspired Mr. Lewis to devote the rest of his life to serving senior citizens. At the time of his retirement from Kendal six years ago, an estimated 2,000 seniors lived in Kendal properties in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and New Hampshire.
Mr. Lewis worked to improve the living conditions of seniors nationwide with the restraint elimination program, called Untie the Elderly, and led the effort by eliminating restraints from all Kendal facilities.
After retiring from Kendal, Mr. Lewis established a new company, US Retirement Communities, where he worked until last year.
He was active in the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Homes for the Aging and the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, where he served on the executive board, its continuing care committee and its public policy committee
Mr. Lewis also served on the American Gerontological Society, the Committee on Aging of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends, and Friends Services for the Aging in Philadelphia.
In addition, he served on the board of Swarthmore College, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1949, from 1985 to 1989 and again in 1990 until his death.
He was a bird-watcher and was a member of the Society of Friends.
Mr. Lewis is survived by his wife of 49 years, Eliza B. Lewis of Glen Mills; son Paul M. Lewis and daughter Laurie K. Lewis, both of West Chester; a sister; and two grandchildren.
Services are private. The family suggests contributions to either Swarthmore College or the Cape May Bird Observation Center for Research and Education, Cape May Court House, N.J.