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Coloradans pay their respects as Jefferson County Marine killed in Australia arrives home

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Posted at 5:53 PM, Sep 15, 2023

LITTLETON, Colo.— It was a somber day Thursday for family, friends and the community as the body of Jefferson County native and U.S. Marine Major Tobin J. Lewis returned home.

Lewis died after the Osprey aircraft he was on in Australia crashed at the end of August. His body arrived at Centennial Airport Thursday afternoon.

“As a military veteran, I wanted to show respect for Major Lewis,” said Army Veteran JR Warfel.

Respect, honor and appreciation. That's what civilians and firefighters wanted to show as Major Lewis' procession passed beneath them on 470 in Littleton.

"I always want to honor the sacrifices that these humans and their families make for our country,” said Karen Chirstensen, who knows Lewis' uncle. “He's just a spectacular man and has an amazing family."

The 37-year-old was killed at the end of August in Australia when the V-22B Osprey aircraft he was on crashed. Twenty-three marines were on board, and Tobin was one of three who died. They were taking part in a training exercise when the aircraft went down.

Tobin arrived home Thursday afternoon, and he received planeside honors during a private service surrounded by family and friends.

He was born and raised in Conifer and leaves behind a wife and three little girls. His mom, Kathy Lewis, who calls him Toby, spoke to Denver7 a few weeks ago, sharing her son's love for flying.

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Local News

Family remembers US Marine from Jefferson County killed in Australia crash

Brandon Richard
4:56 PM, Aug 29, 2023

“My father was a Marine aviator. And Toby loved to follow him around when he was working with his plane. And he grew up with a loyalty to the Marines. So, he knew he wanted to be a pilot. And if he was going to go into the military, he was going to be a Marine,” said Lewis.

Lewis was designated a naval aviator in 2012 after completing advanced flight training in Corpus Christi, Texas. He’s logged over 1,800 military flight hours and received several awards over the course of his career.

"Keep the family in your prayers among those young daughters who will grow up without a daddy right now,” said Army Veteran James Kincaid.

Christensen said she attended the procession to understand the sacrifice our service members make for this place we call home.

"It's not just one person making a sacrifice. It's hundreds of people making a sacrifice, and that's what I wanted to feel today — honor, and (I also wanted to) thank those people who do that for us,” said Christensen.

Major Lewis will be laid to rest with full military honors Saturday at Evergreen Memorial Park.

Coloradans pay their respects for Marine killed in Australian crash