Industry Mourns the Loss of George Lewis

February 12th, 2020 by Emmariah Holcomb

George Lewis, industry legend and former owner of Performance Films Distributing Inc., also known as 44 Tools and Performance Auto Spa, passed away at age 68 after struggling with side effects from his cancer treatment on February 8, 2020.

Lewis was born December 22, 1951 was always sharing stories about his greatest passions which included his wife, Debbie, of 47 years, four daughters, grandchildren, and his beloved University of Florida Gators. According to several industry members, Lewis would rarely would he be seen without his iconic U of F hat.

George Lewis, photo courtesy of 44 Tools

He graduated from the University of Florida in 1975 with degrees in physical education and history. Lewis enjoyed success in a variety of trades from bicycle shops to real estate, as well as having a legacy in the window film industry. Lewis spent years training and teaching generations of window film installers. He also founded 44Tools, headquartered in Plain City, Ohio.

He is survived by his wife Debra Lewis, daughters, Tiffanie (her husband Bo Ryan), Sara (her husband Paul Doucher), Elysabeth, Kaitlin and Matt Gilbert, grandchildren: Addilyn, Ainsley, Isla, and Jack. He is also survived by his brothers Mark (his wife Mimi), and Ed (his wife Annamarie), who are the owners of Sun Control of Greenville; his nephews Joe (Mary) Coxey, Ryan (Lacey) Lewis, Will Lewis, Allen Lewis, Patrick (Lorelei) Lewis and Michael Lewis. Lewis was preceded in death by his parents Fred and Alma Lewis, sisters: Eddie Joe Lewis, Regina Lewis and Beebe Coxey, and nephew Edward Lewis.

Calling hours will be held Monday February 17, 2020 from 4-7pm, and the funeral will be held Tuesday February 18, 2020 at 11:00 am. Both will be held at St. Brigid of Kildare Church, located at 7175 Avery road in Dublin, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, the family asks to please make donations to The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

The industry has begun to share their thoughts and memories of Lewis.

“It is with great, almost unspeakable sadness that we announce the passing of our founder, mentor and friend, George Lewis. He was a legend in the [window] film business. His legacy is almost as immense as his personality. … We had some special times. He was truly passionate about film, cars, business and most of all family,” a portion of 44 Tools’ Twitter post reads.

“When you lose someone as magnanimous as George Lewis it’s a rush of memories. I came from the performance tuning side and car collecting side of the industry and he was so gracious and kind to share stories of the early days of being the LLumar distributor. He was patient in explaining install techniques, business concepts, trends for the future, literally everything window film related,” said Tim Neely. “We would talk on topics as varied as FIA world championship races, BMW cars and prayer with equal fervor. When it came to stories about his girls he would often share his favorite memories and end up in tears, that’s the kind of guy, the kind of friend he was. As a business man an entrepreneur he also taught me to sweat the fine details. Turn out lights in rooms that weren’t being used, turn the thermostat back when you leave. To a great extent I think that is why he understood the value of great tint or paint protection film application tools. He didn’t like to waste film or waste anything for that matter. It’s a small thing but he really placed emphasis on seeing the small things in business. I will miss him dearly. A truly beautiful soul.”

“George was a cherished friend and colleague. I had the pleasure of working with him almost from the conception of my first product. He truly had a passion for his business and during his involvement with his company, it showed,” said Nick Antonovich, Fusion Tools founder. “He took his business to new heights and with it, our industry. I always enjoyed going to his performance challenges to catch up with him and I’ll never forget when he gave me my gold plated Olfa knife as a sign of our friendship over the years. He will be missed but never forgotten. My heart goes out to Bo and his family during this difficult time.”

If you have a memory of Lewis that you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment below.

This article is from Focus on Film, the weekly e-newsletter that covers the latest news regarding window film and related products, including paint protection film. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Window Film magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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