Family remembers Wisconsin photographer killed in Chicago

CREATED Jul 15, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - Wil Lewis had a great smile and was certainly photogenic.  His father, however, said Wil much preferred taking the pictures.

"He was always looking at what's the next opportunity.  What's the goal, what's the next hurdle,"  Joe Lewis told reporters on Tuesday.
 
There were hurdles.  Joe and Kim Lewis adopted Wil at age seven from Guatemala.
 
"He had to overcome a language barrier," Joe Lewis explained.  "He had to overcome a learning disability.  He graduated from high school, graduated from college and had a business."
 
Samples of Wil's professional photography are posted on his website.
 
Wil died at age 28 from a gun shot wound in his back.  He was killed at a bus stop near his new Chicago home.  It is believed Wil was the unintended target of what appears to be gang gunfire.
 
"Instead of this being a faceless tragedy, our hope is that we can allow something good to come out of it," said Regina Kolbow, the sister of Wil's wife.
 
Family members are hoping enough money will be raised online to cover funeral expenses and start a scholarship fund.
 
According to the obituary posted on Tuesday, Wil worked as a freelance photographer for companies such as Kohl's, Lands End and Sears. 
 
Wil met his wife when they were both students at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.   
 
"We're all very, very sad to lose him.  My heart goes out to Maria, his wife," said Tara Bogart, who supervises the photography lab where Wil was a student worker.  "What a sweet and funny young man he was."
 
Memorial services are scheduled early next week at Harder Funeral Home in Brookfield.