LEBANON — Lewis J. Jones, a Lebanon father of six, was scheduled to be a Father's Day speaker Sunday at the Action for Christ Church in Lebanon, but a relative said he drowned Wednesday at Horner Park while fishing.
Jones, who was identified by his cousin, Les Crump, tried to retrieve a fishing pole that had fallen into the lake when he fell in and drowned.
"He was just fun," Crump said. "He could have been a stand-up comedian if he wanted."
Lebanon police and fire departments received the call about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, said Sgt. Steve Knepper, acting chief. The Swansea Fire Department Dive Team retrieved the body about 6:30 p.m.
Jones' son was nearby when the body was retrieved about 6 p.m. He walked up the road to a gate where friends and relatives waited. As he reached them, he began to sob. They surrounded him, hugging him as he cried.
Jones, 44, was a world-class weightlifter, Crump said. Jones lifted weights at the McKendree University and Scott Air Force Base gyms. Jones also drew a cartoon strip for the Lebanon Advertiser, according to Crump.
Rose Hall, an Action for Christ church member, said Jones, a deacon, had gone fishing before he planned to attend Bible study Wednesday night.
Jones is survived by his wife, Toni, his three children and three step-children.