Commander Lewis Dale Moats

Commander Lewis Dale Moats, United States Navy (Retired), a long-time resident of Chula Vista California, died Monday, May 2, 2022, after a short illness.  He was 89.

Lewis was born in Grafton, West Virginia on December 27th, 1932, to the late Ellis Franklin and Eva Gay (Shingleton) Moats.   

In addition to his parents, Lewis was preceded in death by his stepfather Herbert Claude Boyles; brothers Mason Glen Moats and Ellis Franklin Moats Jr; sister Nancy Lee Moats; and wife Regina Mae (Bonner) Moats. Lewis and Regina were joined in marriage on October 9th, 1956.

He is survived by three sons Lewis Wade Moats of Grafton, WV; Jeffery Bryan Moats of Colorado Springs, CO; and Scott Andrew Moats and spouse Doren Steffler of La Mesa, CA; two grandchildren Hannah Marie Moats and Joshua Jeffery Moats both of San Diego, CA; one niece Shelia Brown and husband James; three nephews Alan Moats and wife Connie, Timothy Moats and wife Pamela, Ronald Moats and wife Patricia; and his beloved and constant companion Ms. Emily Banks-Collins.  Also surviving are numerous great nieces and nephews.

Lewis was cherished by his friends and family. He will be greatly missed, especially by his adopted daughter Cyndi Mangus and her husband Mike and their children; Regina and Ben Maddock, David and Kimberly Larsen, Jennifer and Wesley Grimshaw, and Nathaniel Mangus, and their numerous grandchildren. In addition, he will be missed by long-time close family friends Ron and Velma Crain of Chula Vista, CA; Donald Crain of Palm Springs; and Joni Johnson of Fargo, ND; and their children; and Roy O’Grady and his son Henry.

He attended elementary school at the Mt. Morris one-room schoolhouse at Cove Run and Kasson and Grafton High Schools.  He is a West Virginia University alumnus with a degree in Forestry.

Afterward Lewis became a career naval officer.  He was a carrier qualified naval aviator, and Command Pilot aboard early-warning airships and helicopters.  During his distinguished career he trained helicopter pilots and also served as Safety Officer on the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) during the 1972 Yankee Station Vietnam deployment and at Naval Air Station Miramar - TOP GUN. He retired from the Navy in 1974 at the rank of Commander. After retirement, he owned and operated Chula Vista Used Bookstore for 10 years and continued to sell books online prior to his passing.

Lewis was a devoted husband and father, mentor, and friend. His favorite pastimes were finding and selling books, spending time with friends and family, and traveling throughout the United States. He especially favored traveling to Montana, driving the Big Sur country, and driving across the country on two-lane US highways.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial gift may be made to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation in Lewis’ name:2361 Hylan Boulevard Staten Island, New York 10306   Phone: (718) 987-1931 or by visiting their website at

Family and friends will be received at the Donald G. Ford Funeral Home 950 George Washington Hwy Grafton, WV, on Friday July 22, 2022, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. 

A Memorial Service will be held at the Mt. Morris United Methodist Church in Moatsville, West Virginia on Saturday July 23, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. 

Interment will follow at the Mt. Morris Cemetery, where full military honors will be accorded.  

The Donald G. Ford Funeral Home is honored to serve the Moats Family during this time.  

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