Oehmig, Lewis West, Jr.

Longtime President Of Tennessee Valley Travel Agency

Sunday, March 26, 2017
West Oehmig
West Oehmig

Lewis West Oehmig, Jr. peacefully departed on Saturday, March 25, 2017, surrounded by his four children and loving family members. At 67, the intrepid world traveler took his final and greatest journey yet.

Born to Lew and Mary Oehmig on Aug. 3, 1949, and brother to the late King Oehmig, West was a lifelong resident of Lookout Mountain, Tn. He attended Baylor School through 1967 and continued his studies at the University of Virginia, graduating in 1971. As a member of St. Anthony Hall, his years at Virginia were marked by daring and occasionally dangerous revelry that would form the fabric of innumerable memories and enduring friendships. He is best remembered for his charm, generosity, and ever-loving spirit. As a student, West developed a passion for art and art history, pursuits that would remain meaningful throughout his life. Post-graduate jaunts across the country led West and his notorious band of outlaws from Winter Park to A Bar A to Wild Acres, where he would meet his loving wife-to-be, Regina Matthews. Married in 1978, West and Gina would make their family home on Lookout Mountain and welcome to the world sons, Lewis, Matt, and William and his daughter, Zeen.

With an entrepreneurial spirit guided by unbridled optimism and a singular charm, West embarked on a lifelong career in the travel industry.  He acquired Tennessee Valley Travel Agency and transformed a sleepy, small shop into a premier travel powerhouse that served a number of businesses in the area, booking luxury leisure travel vacations for his myriad friends in Chattanooga and beyond. West and his expert staff propelled the business to new heights.  He would later serve as chairman of the advisory board for API/Virtuoso, a premier global travel consortium comprised of the top travel experts, agents, and suppliers from around the world.  In later years, he opened the doors to Oehmig Travel Consultancy and continued his contributions to the industry with his wealth of knowledge and experience.

West regarded the experience of travel as essential to the development of character and spirit.  To immerse himself in a new and different culture, even briefly, meant sharpening the senses to the wonders of creation - from trekking the Himalayas with the native Sherpa to ascending the peak of the Matterhorn, from sharing the spiritual rituals with the Maasai tribe of Kenya to exploring the relics and tombs of ancient Egypt. From Cartagena to Katmandu, from the Scottish Highlands to the beaches of Normandy, West would cultivate in himself and others a deep appreciation for the experiences, histories, and peoples of the world.  

At home, West took delight in hunting and fishing at Blue Springs, where he served as president for a decade.  He enjoyed playing golf and cards in the company of his close friends and hosting Sunday dinners for his family.  In his quieter moments, West enjoyed reading, writing, and painting - amassing a catalogue of watercolors from his adventures abroad.  He was an avid storyteller and entertainer, bringing a joyful and lively energy to all of those around him.  He would recount his experiences in terms alternately numinous, clever, and unforgettable. He wore a smile you could see a mile and lived his life with the glass half full - almost always with bourbon on the rocks with a splash.  In his last months, his friends often said, “We cannot imagine a world without West.” The legacy of love and memories that West leaves behind is immeasurable.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis West Oehmig and Mary King Oehmig; his brother, Henry King Oehmig, and his wife, Regina Matthews Oehmig.

He is survived by his three sons, Lewis West Oehmig III, Neil Matthews Oehmig, William McRedmond King Oehmig, and his daughter, Mary Frances Christine Oehmig. 

The family visitation and memorial service will be held on Wednesday, March 29, at The Church of the Good Shepherd on Lookout Mountain.  

The visitation will be held from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and the service will begin at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in West’s honor to The Chambliss Center for Children at 315 Gillespie Rd. Chattanooga, Tn. 37411.

Please visit www.heritagechattanooga.com to share words of comfort to the family.

Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home.   



Mason, Diane B.

Hodges, Judy Maureen

Veal, Wafford Ray


Diane B. Mason, 80, passed away on Monday, November 29, 2021, in Chattanooga. Arrangements are by John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave., 423 622-9995. (click for more)

Judy Maureen Hodges went home to be with the Lord on November 25, 2021, at her home in Rossville, Tennessee. She was born on Feb. 24, 1952, in Birmingham, Alabama to Horace and Athala Heflin. ... (click for more)

Wafford Ray Veal (Daddy, Pops, RayRay, Uncle Ray), a man who loved and was loved by so many, was welcomed into Heaven on November 26, 2021. Taken by a heart attack at 67, his heart is now beating ... (click for more)



Obituaries

Mason, Diane B.

Diane B. Mason, 80, passed away on Monday, November 29, 2021, in Chattanooga. Arrangements are by John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave., 423 622-9995. (click for more)

Hodges, Judy Maureen

Judy Maureen Hodges went home to be with the Lord on November 25, 2021, at her home in Rossville, Tennessee. She was born on Feb. 24, 1952, in Birmingham, Alabama to Horace and Athala Heflin. Judy was a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was a wonderful Momma to her sweet little Foxie. She enjoyed spending time with her great-grandson, ... (click for more)

Area Obituaries

Fadroski, Betty (Old Fort)

Betty Fadroski, 88, a resident of Old Fort, passed away Saturday, November 27, 2021 in local hospital. She was the daughter of the late Cliff and Pearl Beard. She was also preceded in death by her son, David Fadroski; sisters, Jean Hines and Peggy White; brothers, Joe and Bill Beard; son-in-law, James Hill; and grandsons, Patrick Bramlett and Shawn Fadroski. Betty loved traveling, ... (click for more)

Allen, Barbara (Summerville)

Barbara Allen, age 79, of Summerville, Georgia, passed away Sunday morning, November 28, 2021, in a LaFayette nursing home. She was born on April 3, 1942 to the late Troy and Allie Lois Walker Wright. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 11 a.m. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home, with interment in West Hill Cemetery. Visitation ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Bradley County Sheriff's Office Seeking Man Who Pointed Gun During Road Rage Incident

The Bradley County Sheriff's Office is attempting to locate a white male who pointed a gun at another driver during a road rage incident on Nov. 18. Authorities said, "At approximately 2:15 p.m., the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a road rage incident on Harrison Pike/I-75 overpass where a white male driving a blue/purple Kia pointed a handgun at a black Toyota ... (click for more)

Mobile Home Destroyed By Fire And 3 Cats Perish In Sale Creek Sunday Morning

A mobile home in Sale Creek is destroyed by fire Sunday morning. At 11:28 a.m., a neighbor called 911 reporting heavy smoke coming from a mobile home. The Sale Creek Volunteer Fire Department responded to 385 Border Loop and arrived on the scene reporting heavy smoke coming from the eaves of the mobile home. One team of firefighters entered the home, conducted an initial search ... (click for more)