Kenneth E. Lewis
Hometown: Culpeper, Va., USA
Occupation: Flight attendant, American Airlines
Location: Crew, American Flight 77, Pentagon
"Kenny never had cats growing up, always dogs. He just loved dogs. But when they were looking for their first home, the only one they would ever share together, they found two cats sitting on the back porch of one house. It was empty, but the cats were still there. We used to accuse them of buying the house because of the cats. They later found out the previous owners had just left them there. They adopted Lucky and Mattie, who soon surprised them with a litter of five kittens. The cats and their horse Poet were almost like children to them, and when this tragedy happened, one of our main concerns was finding good homes for them all. It made us so happy when we did." Joann Lewis, Kenneth Lewis's mother
Kenneth Lewis was a golf guy. Jennifer Lewis was a horsewoman. He always came to work in a crisp suit. She always came to work with a practical joke.
"She'd bring a screwdriver to work and steal the handle off your baggage and hide it for three days," recalled Mitch Hannon, who worked with the couple as a fellow flight attendant for American Airlines.
"Have you ever walked through Dallas/Fort Worth International carrying your bag in your arms?" he said. "It hurts!"
Both Lewises loved traveling, especially traveling together -- and especially to Los Angeles. They used their seniority to arrange joint assignments so they could travel to their favorite destination -- just as they were doing Tuesday on Flight 77.
Often, they persuaded Ken's parents, Joanne and Eugene Lewis, to tag along -- as relatives, they could fly free.
"In the days before the crash, he was bugging us to go with him to L.A., but we had too many commitments," said Joanne Lewis, trembling as she spoke at Ken and Jennifer's home near Culpeper, Va., where friends and family gathered yesterday. "Oh, God. I wish we were on that trip. I'd rather be there with them than to be here without them."
Ken, 49, and Jennifer, 38, wouldn't just shop or see the sights in L.A. On a 24-hour layover, they would drive eight hours to see Yosemite National Park or ride bikes along the beach.
They became friends at an American Airlines Christmas party in 1991, and colleagues recalled that he took his time noticing that she liked him even more than that.
"We were at some Georgetown bar, and she said to him, 'I think I know someone who's interested in you,' and he said, 'Really? Who?' She kicked him underneath the table and yelled, 'Me!' " Hannon said. They married two years later.
Jennifer's brother, Barry Gore, remembered the bearhug Ken gave him when his mother was gravely ill. "When I heard that the hijackers herded everyone to the back of the plane, I knew they were together and that Ken was giving her that same hug he gave me."
-- Ian Shapira
Source: The Washington Post, AP and washingtonpost.com
The profiles in this feature were written in the months following Sept. 11, 2001.
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