Frances White Ewbank

Frances White Ewbank, 96

Upland - Dr. Frances White Ewbank was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1916. She was the daughter of Andrew and Mildred White. She entered college during the depression and worked her way through Wayne State University, where she received her BA and MA degrees in English. She taught in the Detroit Public Schools for 6 years before taking a position in Wheaton College's (Wheaton, IL) English Department in 1943. Among her students was missionary Jim Elliott (End of the Spear). She left Wheaton to pursue her Ph.D. degree at the University of Colorado, where she received the university fellowship and research fellowship and was elected to Phi Alpha Theta and Pi Lambda Theta honorary societies. She chose to continue her career in Christian liberal arts college teaching at Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky. Dr. Rader, former president of Asbury College, established the Frances White Ewbank Excellence in Teaching Award to be presented annually to a member of the Asbury College faculty. Frances taught at Asbury from 1950-1959, then moved to Geneva College, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania to become head of the English Department, where she stayed from 1959-1964.

Her marriage was to Capt. William Ewbank of Yateley, Hampshire, England, in July 1964 at Farnborough Parish Church. His first wife had died leaving him with two daughters, Wendy and Heather, so Frances acquired a ready-made family. She then moved to Taylor University, Upland, Indiana with her new husband, who also acquired a position at Taylor, and their daughters. She remained teaching at Taylor in the English Department until her retirement in 1984. She published articles and reviews in professional publications and was a popular speaker at conferences in her field. She designed a course at Taylor based on the writings of C.S. Lewis, and the Frances White Ewbank Colloquium on C.S. Lewis and Friends, an annual event at Taylor, is named for her. She received the Distinguished Professor Award in 1977 and was an honorary member of Chi Alpha Omega.

Her memberships were in the Indiana College English Association of which she had been president, the Modern Language Association, the Indiana College Teachers of English, the Shakespeare Association, and the Conference on Christianity and Literature. She was also a member of the Upland United Methodist Church and was active in the United Methodist Women's Association.

In her retirement, Frances enjoyed traveling back to Great Britain with her husband, visiting the members of her large family all over the United States, supporting missionaries (including four of her nephews) in Europe and Africa, carrying on a voluminous correspondence with friends and family, participating in book clubs and Bible studies, and playing the piano. She loved her home in Upland, but due to failing health, spent the last year and a half of her life, along with her husband, at GreenTree Senior Living in West Lafayette.

She is survived by her husband, Bill; her two stepdaughters, Wendy (Jim) Tallent of Indianapolis and Heather (Harlan) Day of West Lafayette; seven grandchildren - Jayson (Lori), Cory (Carrie), and Megan all of Indianapolis; Stephen (Sarah) of Raleigh, NC, Peter (Marina) of San Diego, CA, Timothy of Mt. Pleasant, MI, and Andrew of Guayaquil, Ecuador; six great-grandchildren; her younger sister Nancy (Rex) McConnell of Nicholasville, Kentucky; her brother-in-law, David Willison, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; her sister-in-law, Muriel White Stehouwer, of Cadillac, Michigan; her sister-in-law, Joy Ewbank, of Canterbury, England, and numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews living all over the world. She was preceded in death by her parents; her two brothers, Dr. Frederick White and Dr. Robert White; and her sister, Mildred Willison. Memorial contributions can be made to Taylor University or to the Upland United Methodist Church Missions Fund.

Frances White Ewbank, PhD, May 20, 1916 - March 16, 2013.

Graveside Service, 2:00 pm, Tuesday, March 19, 2013, Jefferson Cemetery, Upland, Indiana. Memorial Service

4:00 p.m. Saturday, April 20, 2013, Upland United Methodist Church, 123 E. Washington St. Upland, Indiana. Officiating Rev. Rob Neel, Dr. Jay Kesler. Online condolences may be made at

Published in the Journal & Courier from Mar. 17 to Mar. 18, 2013