S. Lewis Lionberger, Sr.

Samuel Lewis Lionberger was born on July 7, 1940, in Roanoke Virginia. He attended Virginia Heights Elementary School, Woodrow Wilson Middle School, and then Jefferson High School. His father worked at the John C. Senter Construction Company with his Uncle John and took over the company in 1950, when John retired. The name was changed to the S. Lewis Lionberger Company. Sam worked at the construction company during his summers and throughout his time at Roanoke College. The company was responsible for projects such as William Fleming High School, Roanoke Airport, and the Ponce De Leon Hotel in downtown Roanoke, to name a few.

After attending Roanoke College, Lionberger graduated from the University of Virginia with an engineering degree. One of the original surveyors of Skyline Drive, he took over and ran Lionberger Construction, which he established as one of the most respected and successful construction firms in the Roanoke Valley. His firm built numerous significant buildings in the valley, including Christ Lutheran Church, where Lionberger was a devoted member and trustee for many years. He served as chairman of the Roanoke Regional Redevelopment and Housing Authority and, in 1993, was named to the Southwest Virginia Junior Achievement Hall of Fame. However, his nominator said that his greatest legacy was “his integrity and his caring for others.” A plaque dedicated to his memory is located in the study room at Roanoke College named after him in the Fintel Library.  

S. Lewis Lionberger, Sr. was inducted into the Southwest Virginia Business Hall of Fame in 1993.

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