Ogden “Denny” Lewis III ’01, a graduate of Leverett House, was killed in an automobile accident in Patagonia, Argentina on Wednesday.
Lewis, a History of Science concentrator, was described by friends as exceptionally warm and friendly, involved in an array of campus activities, and as someone who truly enjoyed every minute of his time at Harvard.
“He knew that life has a lot to offer post-Harvard, but never lost sight of the beauty and value of our experience here,” said Sheila A. Baynes ’03, who served as a co-leader with Lewis on a Freshman Outdoor Program (FOP) trip last summer.
Lewis was a member of the Fly Club, served as the photography editor of the Harvard Independent and contributed to the Harvard Photography Journal. He also participated in Peer Relations and Date Rape Education.
Caitlin E. Stork ’04, who participated in FOP under Lewis, said she was particularly struck by his leadership skills.
“[Lewis] was so smart, he had a real ability to be serious, but at the same time when you needed cheering up, he could be goofy,” Stork said. “No matter what kind of person you were, he reassured you that you would find your place at Harvard. He made everyone feel welcome.”
Baynes said that she received an e-mail from Lewis in September informing her about his travel plans.
“Knowing Denny made me look at my experience here in a fresh way,” she said.
“He was a constant reminder that being at Harvard means surrounding yourself with amazing and unforgettable people—for besides just being inspiring himself, he was constantly inspired by those around him,” she said.
Information about memorial services for Lewis is currently unavailable, although Leverett House Master Howard Georgi ‘68 said that he will make details known soon.
Georgi also said that Lewis made many important contributions to House life and has many close friends around the College.
“Our hearts go out to his family and loved ones,” Georgi said.
David Woodberry, the former assistant to the master at Leverett, said “[Lewis] was a friendly, positive and funny young man—a pleasure to deal with in housing issues.... He would have become a wonderful politician one day.”
Lewis was reported to be traveling with two other graduates from Harvard but their identities and status remained unconfirmed yesterday, although friends said that they had survived the accident.
“Denny made us all smile and appreciate being alive and being here. That is why we loved him and won’t forget him,” Baynes said.