Winson Ewing died peacefully Sept. 19 at his home in Clinton, Wash. He was 98.
Win was born at Cambridge, Ohio, where his parents, Warren and Edna Ewing, operated a dairy farm.
Win graduated from Cambridge High School and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Win’s World War II service was with the 125th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron in Europe. His was the first Allied unit on the central front west of Berlin to meet up with the Russian army.
After Germany’s surrender, Win was a member of the honor guard that escorted Lt. Gen. William Hood Simpson, commander of the Ninth Army, to a victory celebration with Simpson’s Russian counterpart.
Following the war, Win attended Teachers College at Columbia University, where he received a master of arts degree in education. For the next 39 years, Win taught music and mathematics at Blair Academy, in Blairstown, N.J. He was the band director as well as playing the organ for the school’s chapel services. For many years, he was the organist for the Blairstown Presbyterian church.
In 1959, Win married Lois Sandhusen Harris. He adopted her children, Jeffrey and Jennifer, whose father had died in a sailing accident two years previously. The following year, daughter Louise was a happy addition to the family.
While teaching at Blair, Win managed to find time to serve as a public school-board member; become the local mushroom-identification expert; make apple cider, gooseberry and dandelion wine; tap his maple trees, boiling the sap down for syrup; churn ice cream; tend his orchard and beehives; cut cords of wood for winter fuel; master one of the first Apple home computers; build custom wood furniture; plant and defend a huge vegetable garden from pesky critters; and prune, tend and care for everything around him with an innate sensibility.
After Win’s retirement from Blair Academy, he and Lois continued to live on their 60-acre farm near Blairstown until they moved to Whidbey Island, Wash., to be near son Jeffrey and his family.
For 10 years, Win served as organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland, Wash. For more than 20 years, through the AARP Tax Aid program, Win assisted hundreds of seniors in preparing their tax returns.
A gifted woodworker, Win was able to spend more time in his woodshop after the move to Whidbey, turning out intricately crafted tables, boxes and turned bowls. He used curly maple from his father’s Ohio farm for some of his creations. For several years he participated in the Boeing Good Neighbor program. He’d spend the months leading up to Christmas fabricating wooden dump trucks and full train sets as gifts for children in need.
Win is survived by Lois, his beloved wife of 61 years; son, Jeffrey, his wife Barbara and their children, Jake and Katharine; daughter, Jennifer, her husband, Steven Elliott, and daughter, Anna; and daughter, Louise and her husband, Joseph Emanuele. Also surviving are his brother, Foster, of Kent, Ohio; brother-in-law, John Morton, of Alto, N.M.; and numerous nieces and nephews. His sister, Rosalie Palius, brother, Edwin, and sister, Louise Morton, predeceased him.
According to Win’s wishes, his family will have a private remembrance.
Contributions may be made to the music program at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland, Wash., or to the Bartow Fund, Blair Academy, Blairstown, N.J. Other contributions made in the spirit of charity or caring for the environment would also honor his wishes.