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Longtime Dade official and coach Ralph Lewis passes away

I opened my email this morning to learn the sad news that Ralph Lewis, a longtime official in multiple sports and coach in Miami-Dade County, passed away late last night after an 18-month battle with leukemia.

Lewis, 54, officiated numerous high school and college events around the state for over two decades, as well as coached and worked at Killian and Palmetto High Schools.

This past May, we had the privilege of honoring him at our All-Dade Awards breakfast with our annual Walter Krietsch/Leo Suarez Courage Award for his years of dedicated service to high school student-athletes in South Florida.

Speaking on a personal note, Lewis was a generous, caring and professional individual, who was always willing to help others and was a pleasure to be around and work with.

The kind of guy that officiated a high school football game on a Friday night, then hit the road right after to go to Dade City and officiate a state cross-country championship at the crack of dawn the next morning...and do it with a positive attitude. He was a classy individual that will be missed.

On behalf of the Miami Herald's high school sports staff, I'd like to extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Dorothy Lewis and his extended family.

Funeral arrangements and details haven't been made available yet, but we will have that information soon either on this blog or in the newspaper.

- Andre C. Fernandez

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