Thursday, January 11, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, January 11, 2001

Ray Mews, renowned cameraman, dead at 62

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Veteran cameraman Ray Mews, who won national recognition for a photo he took of a one-legged Vietnam veteran embracing his wife, died Jan. 2 in Honolulu. He was 62.

Mews was born in Minnesota and began his career as a photographer when he was a child. Mews’ wife, Theresa, said Ray’s heart was damaged when he developed rheumatic fever at a young age and was told he needed to begin considering a vocation.

"So his second oldest sister bought him a Brownie Hawkeye camera and that was the start of it," Theresa Mews said.

In high school, Ray helped to produce the school’s annual. After graduating, he joined the Army and was assigned to the Hawaiian Armed Services Police.

After his stint in the Army, Mews joined the Sioux Falls Argus Leader newspaper in South Dakota. In August 1966, he took the picture of the homecoming of the one-legged Marine embracing his wife with his fallen crutch by his side.

The photograph won Mews the Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award in 1967 and numerous other national awards. Mews left the Argus Leader after three years and joined KGMB.

Mews spent most of his years at KGMB working the overnight shift. Theresa Mews said she was amazed at the complexity of his job.

"He had three radios going. There was the regular radio, the station radio and the police scanner. They would drive you all through the roof. I don’t know how he could concentrate on what was going on," she said.

Mews retired from KGMB in September 1996 after suffering a heart attack.

Mews is survived by his wife, Theresa; sons, Kelly, Kevin, Kelvin and Keith; daughters, Kimberly and Kerry; brothers, James and Roger; sisters, Frances Paulson and Clarice Wildfeuer; and three grandchildren.

Visitation from 9 a.m. Jan. 17 at Oahu Cemetery Chapel, 2162 Nuuanu Ave.; memorial service at 11 a.m.

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