1923 – 2012

Gordon Overton Ewin - Class of 1943

EWIN Gordon Overton Ewin, attorney and planter, died on June 16 at age 89. He was predeceased by his wife, Katharine Keller Ewin, his brother James P. Ewin, Jr., his sister Havard Ewin Schmidt, and his grandson David Laurence Faust, Jr. He is survived by his daughter, Katharine Adair Ewin Faust and her husband David, his granddaughter Lucy Adair Faust, his brother Dabney Minor Ewin, M.D. and his wife Marilyn, his sister-in-law Louise Nelson Ewin, and numerous nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Born in New Orleans on June 1, 1923, he graduated from New Orleans Academy. He was commissioned ensign from the Tulane Naval ROTC class of 1943, and served in World War Two aboard the light cruiser USS Columbia, CL56, in the Pacific Theater, as Lieutenant JG. Aboard the Columbia, he saw action in numerous places, including Leyte Gulf and Surigao Strait and especially Lingayen Gulf, where in the course of three days the ship was hit by three kamikazes. Despite devastating damage, the crew kept the ship afloat and continued firing, and the Columbia was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation. After the war, he returned to Tulane Law School, where he served on the Law Review. He spent a postgraduate year at the Faculte’ de Droit of the University of Paris, which instilled in him a lifelong love of France, the French, and travel. He practiced law in New Orleans and for nearly thirty years was a partner at Chaffe, McCall, Phillips, Toler & Sarpy. Upon retirement he moved to his beloved Greenwood Plantation in Cheneyville, Louisiana, where he managed the property and farming operations. He was an enthusiastic and capable amateur astronomer, gardener, historian, classicist, linguist, and genealogist. He was a member of the Boston and Louisiana clubs and of several carnival organizations. Mr. Ewin served as board member and president of both the Garden District Association and Friends of the Cabildo, as Governor of the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Louisiana, and as chairman of the Louisiana Democrats for Goldwater in 1964. A lifelong and devout Episcopalian, he became involved in church matters and was elected by write-in vote to the vestry of Trinity Church in New Orleans. He had legions of friends and admirers of all ages, backgrounds, outlooks, and nationalities, all of whom loved his exuberant hospitality and joie de vivre, wonderful sense of humor and magnificent laugh, keen intellect and shrewd judgement; his wide and deep learning on seemingly every topic; his strong convictions and fair-mindedness; his broad outlook, loyal friendship, sage advice and quiet generosity; his integrity, courage, stalwart belief in doing right no matter what the sacrifice; and his easy ability to befriend anyone from presidents to paupers. He honored truth and laughed at pomposity. No one could tell a funny story better. He died peacefully following a stroke after a brief hospitalization, just weeks after a large family gathering at his home. His family thanks the staff of Rapides Regional Medical Center and the wonderful team of home assistants for excellent and loving care. Friends and family are invited to a visitation at home, beginning at noon on Saturday June 23, followed by a 3:00 p.m. funeral and burial at Trinity Church, Cheneyville, Louisiana. Services have been entrusted to John Kramer & Son, Alexandria, Louisiana. A memorial service will be held at a later date in New Orleans. Memorials to Trinity Church, Cheneyville, Louisiana, the Heritage Society, or the Salvation Army preferred.

Published in The Times-Picayune from June 19 to June 21, 2012

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