Retired farm manager Marion Lewis died Sept. 29 at an Ocala, Fla,, hospital from a lung ailment. He was 69.
Lewis, who retired as manager of Michael Sherman's Farnsworth Farms in 1997 after a 31-year stint, started working in 1954 at the famed Dickey Stables in Florida, where Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Needles was foaled and raised. Needles was Florida's first national champion.
Sherman, who founded Farnsworth in 1961 with his father Isidore, credited Lewis with much of the farm's success. Farnsworth won the Eclipse Award in 1996 as the nation's outstanding breeder, and has been ranked among the leaders a number of years.
Since his retirement from Farnsworth, Lewis remained active at his Marigail Farm in Morriston by buying, training and selling a few young horses. A Georgia native, Lewis bred and raced several stakes winners.
Lewis was a former board member of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association and was honored as the FTBOA's Bruce Campbell Award in 1997 for outstanding service.
He won the Florida Thoroughbred Farm Managers "Manager of the Year" award, and served as that organization's president.
Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Gail; daughters Tracy and Kim; sons Les and Robin; and a brother. The Lewis brothers and deceased brother, Wesley, all worked together at one time at Ocala Stud Farm.