Maurice Lewis had a plan.
The Egg Harbor City man was going to work as hard as he could to get a house for him and his mother by 2021.
The 19-year-old Millville Senior High School graduate had dreams of joining the Army and was studying to become a mechanic.
But just after 11 p.m. May 18, a bullet ended all those dreams.
Terrell Savage, a man with a lengthy criminal history, allegedly shot Lewis, who was in a car with two other men at Dock and Broad streets in Millville.
Lewis’ aunt isn’t sure if it was mistaken identity or a random act of violence. But she does know “Reese” “had a future brighter than others.”
“He wanted to prove that he was not just a statistic, but a survivor,” Fatima Lewis said of her nephew.
“Maurice was an amazing and hardworking young man,” said former girlfriend Tatiyana Stubbs. “He was so much greater than we deserved, and it’s a real shame that his life was taken so early.”
Lewis was an organ donor, whose donation helped save five lives.
“He always gave and gave, even when he himself was struggling,” Stubbs said. “And he did the same even after life. His organs are going to help five people have a better, more vibrant life and he gave them that opportunity even though he couldn’t give anything to help himself.”
His aunt agreed.
“Sometimes lives are taken from us, and the lives of those that are taken are not ones that are deserved,” Fatima Lewis said. “But we do believe Maurice will live on through others, and continue to build strength within families.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses.
Maurice Lewis has gained his wings to forever watch over us. He was loved by many. Friends and Family are left at a loss over his sudden and unexpected passing. For all that knew Maurice, knows he was a charming and outgoing individual. Focused on his bright future, he always made the right deci…
“In the wake of his passing, we are asking friends and family to come together and help us lay him to rest the way he would want,” his mother, Marisol Cruz, wrote on the page.
His funeral will be 11 a.m. June 1 at DeMarco-Luisi Funeral Home in Vineland. A viewing will be held from 9 to 11 a.m.
He will be laid to rest in Lincoln Memorial in Mays Landing, and then a repast will be held at Mauro’s on the Ave in Vineland.
Shirts bearing Lewis’ image with “#LongLiveReese” are on sale for $20, and many will be wearing them at the funeral.
Anyone who wants to buy a shirt can contact Stubbs via Facebook.
“He loved his family so much and would do anything for them,” Stubbs said. “He always looked out for his two younger sisters and for my three younger sisters as well.”
A detention hearing for Lewis’ accused killer is set for Thursday in Cumberland County Superior Court.