Ward B. Lewis put on the maize and blue of Carleton College as a freshman in 1928, and after graduating from the private liberal arts college in Northfield four years later, he became one of its most loyal supporters.

He served on its board from 1974 to 1983. During his tenure and as an emeritus trustee for the past 13 years, he contributed greatly to the success of several fundraising campaigns, including the school's current "Breaking Barriers, Creating Connections" drive, which aims to bring in $300 million by June 30, said Carleton President Robert A. Oden Jr.

"He represented Carleton at its best, and we will dearly miss his commitment to and support for the college," Oden said. "But more, his sage advice, loyalty to Carleton and deep engagement with life."

Lewis died of cancer April 10 at the N.C. Little Hospice in Edina. He was 98.

As a board member at Carleton, he served as chairman of the college's Investment Committee and as a member of several other key committees. Among his Carleton legacies is the Helen F. Lewis Professorship, created in honor of his mother. In 1962, he was given the school's Alumni Achievement Award, and he served as the chairman of the Carleton Alumni Fund from 1958 to 1962. For his financial donations, Lewis was nominated to receive the William Carleton Medal, but he declined the honor.

Lewis was the sixth attorney to join the Minneapolis law firm Best & Flanagan, which he joined in 1936. He built the firm's corporate law practice and represented local and national clients, such as the Red Owl and National Tea grocery chains.

"He was a guiding light for our firm," said lawyer Jim Diracles. "Ward Lewis was an excellent lawyer and even a better person."

Lewis was a municipal judge in Edina for nine years and served as the attorney for the Edina school board for 20 years, said retired Edina school administrator Roland Ring.

He also was chairman or member of several state and Hennepin County Bar Association committees.

He was born in Hartford, S.D., and graduated from nearby Sioux Falls Washington High School in 1928. After attending Carleton, he graduated from Harvard Law School in 1935 and spent one year with other attorneys in Washington, D.C., and New York City working for the Federal Communications Commission investigating AT&T telephone rates. In 1936, he returned to Minneapolis and began his career at Best & Flanagan.

He officially retired at age 70 due to company rules, but kept an office there until as recently as three years ago, according to a profile in the April 2009 edition of Law & Politics magazine.

He is survived by a son, Stephen Lewis, of Northbrook, Ill.; five grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

No services are planned.