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William Ewbank

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William Ewbank Obituary
William Ewbank

William Ewbank died on Monday, April 29, 2013 in Lafayette, Indiana at the age of 90. He was born in Weymouth, England on August 30, 1922. His parents were Brigadier General William Ewbank and Violet Ewbank. He attended Wellington College (school for boys) and joined the Army right after leaving school to serve in the war effort. He completed a crash course in engineering at the University of Birmingham and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Royal Engineers. Later, he went on to earn his Bachelor of Science at the Royal Military Academy of Science, Shrivenham. His first overseas posting during World War II was to N. Iraq, followed by N. Africa, and Italy. He was wounded in N. Africa and, due to his bravery at this time, was awarded the Military Cross. In Italy, he met his first wife, Frances McKean, who was an American Red Cross worker there for the last two years of the war. They married in England in 1947. He continued to serve in the Army in various posts in England and Wales before being sent to Kenya around 1953 during the Mau Mau uprising. Later, the family settled in Yateley, Hampshire, England. His wife died in 1957, leaving him with two small daughters to raise. He then left the Army to teach mathematics at a local boys' school in Yateley, where he continued to teach for the next seven years.

In 1964, he married his second wife, Dr. Frances White, of the United States, who persuaded him to move with his daughters to the U.S. They both procured positions teaching at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana; he went on to earn a master's degree at Ball State University. His second wife died March 16, 2013.

In 1970, Professor Ewbank established one of the first mathematics labs in the United States. Applying his philosophy of "to learn by doing," he encouraged an innovative, child-centered, hands-on approach to learning math and designed and equipped the math lab at Taylor University (which now carries his name) with math manipulatives, teaching devices, books, and journals. A noted author and speaker, Professor Ewbank conducted workshops for teachers all over the U.S. and abroad, including at mission schools in countries such as Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, and Burkino Faso. He wrote over 80 math activity books and articles. He was awarded the rank of professor emeritus upon his retirement from Taylor University in 1987.

A devoted Christian of the Anglican tradition, Professor Ewbank promoted daily Bible reading as a member of the Scripture Union, and he was also active in the Officers Christian Union. After arriving in Upland, he and his wife worshipped at the Upland Methodist Church for many years. Then in West Lafayette, where they moved in 2011 because of advancing age, he worshipped with his daughter's family at Covenant Church. He enjoyed traveling (especially back to England to visit family and friends), gardening, model soldier collecting, reading, and listening to classical and military band music. He particularly enjoyed his weekly summer outings to the Lafayette Citizens Band Concert over the past two years.

Survivors include his daughters Wendy Tallent (Jim) of Indianapolis, Heather Day (Harlan) of West Lafayette; grandchildren Jayson (Lori), Cory (Carrie), Megan, Stephen (Sarah), Peter (Marina), Timothy, and Andrew; and 6 great-grandchildren.

Professor Ewbank was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, and three sisters.

There will be a graveside service at Jefferson Cemetery in Upland on Thursday, May 2 at 2:00 p.m.

The Memorial Service will be at Covenant Church in West Lafayette on Saturday, June 8 at 4:00 p.m.

Arrangements are being handled by Jones-Smith Funeral Home, 259 N. Main St., Upland.

Memorial contributions may be made to Taylor University, Officers Christian Fellowship (US) or the Armed Forces Christian Union (UK).

Online condolences may be made at


Published in the Journal & Courier from Apr. 30 to May 1, 2013
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