OBITUARY: Derek Lewin - Loved and admired in equal measure

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An obituary for Derek Lewin, submitted by Penny Russell.

Derek Lewin, who has died aged 78, was born and raised in Foxton and had lived in Arnesby for more than 30 years.

A lifelong and committed countryman, and founding member of the Rare Breeds Association, he kept a menagerie of animals and birds in his garden. He also had wide interests in history, writing several well-received books, travel, and stamp collecting.

An alumni of Leicester University, with which he maintained close links throughout his life, Derek went on to teach history, politics and geography at Guthlaxton College, Wigston, latterly becoming head of department. He retired at the age of 53 through ill health.

Public service lay close to his heart and in addition to his distinguished teaching career, Derek also served as a councillor on Harborough District Council and chaired the local branch of the Conservative Party. In recognition of his long record of public service, he recently received the High Sheriff’s Award.

Above all else, Derek was a man of profound Christian faith. He was a licensed reader in the diocese of Leicester for over 50 years and was a great encouragement to the rural churches of south Leicestershire and preached in many of them.

He was particularly gifted in his work with young people and generations of children at local schools will remember ‘Mr Lewin’ who came in to conduct an assembly, usually with some animal or bird in a box beside him, which at an appropriate moment he would unveil with a flourish to illustrate a particular point of Christian teaching.

Loved and admired in equal measure, Derek will be much-missed both by the Christian community and by his wide circle of friends.