Baltimore Sun's David M. Lewis, 57

BALTIMORE, MD - David M. Lewis, 57, the deputy director of photography for The Baltimore Sun, died this morning. He suffered a heart attack while undergoing dialysis and was rushed to Howard County General Hospital where he passed away, Sun editor Tim Franklin told the staff.

David M. Lewis, Baltimore Sun"As deputy director of photography, Dave was the heart of The Sun's photo department, and its staff was his family. Affable and easy going, he could be counted on to take on any task with a smile," Franklin wrote to the Sun newsroom today.

Lewis came to The Sun in February 1985 as the Evening Sun's picture editor, and he also served as director of photography before taking on his current position in the early 1990s. He worked at the Des Moines Register before coming to Baltimore, and he his survived by his parents, who still live in his hometown of Des Moines, and a brother.

"The Sun benefited from Dave's knowledge of new media and technological advances in photography," Franklin said. "When greater emphasis was being placed on interactive photography and increasing The Sun's reach online, Dave responded by ensuring each photographer had the equipment and the know-how needed to perform his job. His work was always complete and well researched, and he paid significant attention to details. Most recently, Dave was a newsroom representative on The Sun's CCI development team."

Lewis joined NPPA in 1993 and was a member for many years. He had a masters degree in journalism and graduated from Ohio University.

Before Lewis's death today it had already been a very difficult week for Sun staffers. Last weekend a fire at the Roland Park home of Sun deputy copy desk chief Stephen A. Young claimed the life of his two children, Matthew, who was 16, and Mary Abigail, who was 11. Young was hospitalized at Sinai Hospital in critical condition after he was injured while trying to rescue his children from their bedrooms during the 4 a.m. fire. Nancy Young, their mother, a lawyer with the Maryland attorney general's office, survived the blaze by jumping from a third story window.

Sun staffers who were already mourning the Youngs' losses this week were additionally stunned by the news of Lewis's death this morning. A member of the photography department said that they were not even aware that Lewis was undergoing dialysis treatments.