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Lewis Prude Means

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Lewis Prude Means, a resident of Hope, Artesia, and Carlsbad for over 90 years, died on October 23, 2017, at the James L. West Alzheimer’s Center in Fort Worth, Texas, just one week shy of his 95th birthday. A graveside service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 28, in Artesia’s Woodbine Cemetery, where all are welcome.
Lewis Prude, as he was known to the ranching families of the Sacramento and Guadalupe Mountains west of Artesia, was born in Hope on October 31, 1922, to Nona Ophelia Means (later, Cartright) and Robert Levi Means. He spent much of his childhood on ranches owned by his grandfather, John Claiborne Prude, including especially the Bullis Spring Ranch at the end of the road into the Gualalupes.
Lewis and his younger brother, Preston Means, were ranchers together most of their working lives. Lewis owned for a time the Avis Ranch, just north of Pinon; Gallinas Peak Ranch near Corona; and the Panama Ranch in the upper Guadalupes southwest of Artesia. But from childhood his greatest interest was in all things having wheels. When he was discharged from the Army/Air Force in 1945 with the rank of sergeant, he bought a mortgaged, once-wrecked truck and began hauling anything for anyone who could pay freight (and a number who couldn’t).
As his trucking business grew, he added trucks and trailers and mostly hauled cattle, sheep, and alfalfa hay for the ranchers in the mountains and in West Texas, especially Marfa. But in 1957, Lewis bought three trucks and tank trailers from George Lynch, then of Artesia, and became an owner-operator and terminal manager for Whitfield Tank Lines. His petroleum-products transportation business expanded as well, and by the time he sold his business and retired in 2005, he owned 15 tractors and 30 trailers, all by then leased to Groendyke Transport of Enid, Oklahoma. He also served as terminal manager in Artesia for Groendyke.
On July 1, 1945, Lewis married Emaree Hightower of Artesia, the daughter of Cecil and Nay Hightower, and the sister of longtime Artesia residents J.N. Hightower, Lillian Hightower Achen, and Billie Bob Hightower Lewis. Emaree was Lewis’s right hand. She kept the books, typed the correspondence, and, in a pinch, helped herd cattle and horses; she cooked for the crews; drove pickups, trucks, and cars; and raised their only child, Terry Robert, who was born in 1948.
Lewis did not go to college or take any courses after high school except from the School of Hard Knocks. He made up for his lack of education with a work ethic that was extraordinary even to the generation that was tempered by the Great Depression and the Second World War. He instilled that work ethic into everyone around him more by example than by stern insistence. His efforts to make a rancher and trucker out of his son, Terry, were a failure, but he seemed to take some comfort from Terry’s becoming a successful lawyer and later a federal judge in Fort Worth.
Lewis was predeceased by Emaree in 1999, and in 2014 by his loving companion after Emaree’s death, Dorothy Anderson, then of Carlsbad, but the mother of Artesia High School graduates John and David Anderson. Lewis is survived by his son, Terry, and wife, JoAnn; grandson Robert Willis Means and wife, Rachel, and their sons, Caden, William, and Harris all of Tyler, Texas; granddaughter MaryAnn Means Dufrene and husband, Matt, and their son, Hogan, of Fort Worth; and granddaughter Emily Means McAnelly and husband, Eric, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Also surviving is Maria Briseno (husband, Jaime) of Artesia, who devoted her young adult life to the well being of both Emaree (especially as she fought a losing battle with lung cancer) and Lewis.
Extended family in Eddy County include cousins Donald Lewis and wife, Marion Hand Lewis, now of Santa Fe, and Oran B. Means of Carlsbad; and nieces Judy Ann Yates and Peggy Sue Letcher.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Terpening & Son Mortuary. Please remember Mr. Means online at www.artesiafunerals.com.