Eric Ewen
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Eric Paul Ewen

Dec 27, 1944 - Jan 18, 2020


Eric was born in Seattle, Washington in 1944. He enjoyed an active childhood in Kansas, Minnesota and California where he learned to skate on frozen ponds, played soccer and tennis and enthusiastically participated in scouting, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. He attended the University of San Francisco, earning a dual degree in philosophy and history. A man of great faith, he devoted himself to the teachings of the Catholic Church and spent years as a brother in the Dominican Order, earning a degree in church history. Alas, the allure of a life in the order was no match for a vocation to marriage, when he fell in love with his future wife Sharon, who he first met in Father Brusher's English class in 1969. Thus began a 50 year adventure during which time he was a faithful and loving husband and father, his greatest source of pride. After earning a Master's degree in Library Science from UC Berkeley he began his career as a catalog librarian at USF in 1974. During his remarkable 40 year tenure at Gleeson Library, he became the head of the catalog department and helped found the USF Faculty Association, a union of professors and librarians. As a union officer and tenacious negotiator he helped to achieve fair contracts and better working conditions for his peers, efforts of which he was very proud. It has been said that future generations of employees at USF owe him a debt of gratitude for the tireless work he did on the union's behalf.

In retirement, Eric focused his energy on charitable work at his church, as well as spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren, and traveling. Highlights of this period include a wonderful trip to Paris with his wife in 2015, and traversing the John Muir Trail across Scotland on foot with his brother John, in 2017. Eric enjoyed the simple pleasures in life, whether it be an afternoon spent picnicking, flying kites, or wine tasting in Sonoma County. He was also an avid fan of the Oakland Athletics and a World Cup soccer and Formula One racing enthusiast. Most importantly, Eric was a warmhearted husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. He battled cancer vigorously for two years until the time of his death. His stoicism in the face of this brutal disease was a demonstration in courage. The many visitors he received in the weeks leading up to his passing brought him great joy, for which his family is very grateful.

Eric is survived and sorely missed by his devoted wife of 46 years, Sharon, his son Zachary (Genevieve), his daughter Catherine (Daniel), his four grandchildren Madeleine, Zoe, Mackenzie and Isaac, his brothers John and Mike, and a host of loyal friends.

We are particularly grateful to his brother John for the constant companionship and tender care he provided in the last several weeks, as well as to the Vitas Hospice team and the community at El Cerrito Royale. In lieu of flowers the family requests a donation be made to a local food pantry. "Here's to the good guys!"

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Jan. 22 to Jan. 26, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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17 entries
February 13, 2020
Eric, you were a parishioner of St. Mary Magdalen, Berkeley and then of St. John the Baptist, El Cerrito. Both parishes will remember you with love and prayers of thanksgiving for having known you.
Heartfelt condolences to your dear Family.
Pray for us!
Maria Curtis, Berkeley, CA
January 31, 2020
Sorry to hear about Eric's death. He was a good man. After he left the Order he worked as librarian at USF. It was at the library that I met him after he left the Order. Then I was attending USF for a MA in Religious Studies. We met a few times and had lunch together. I enjoyed Eric especially when we talked about soccer. Blessings. My prayers are with all the family. May he rest in peace.
Fr. Albert Felice-Pace, O.P.
January 30, 2020
Eric, thanks for your kindness and everything. You are always so generously helping, I am grateful. I will miss you. Take care, Sharon.

Annie
January 29, 2020
Great professional and simply wonderful man ...
Elchin Mammadov
January 28, 2020
I was so sad to hear of Eric's passing. All of us at the University of San Francisco are grateful to have known him and appreciate all of his professional accomplishments and generosity to the University.
Louise Lucchesi
January 27, 2020
a rosary prayed for eric this friday, 5pm at st john el cerrito and mass this saturday, 11am at st. john, el cerrito.
January 27, 2020
we last saw each other the friday previous. you would usually say to me well hello ed how are you and how have you been doing i wished we could have continued chatting still in a way we are and there some day
January 26, 2020
I once asked Eric who are his favorite saints
(as I had the impression that he knew a lot about religion and Catholicism). He named St. Jerome (Patron Saint of Librarians), St Thomas Aquinas, St. Anthony of Padua, and St Peregrine ( Patron Saint of Cancer Patients). He is now in their company and having a wonderful discussion with them about everything! ~~ Mer Engalla
January 26, 2020
I light a candle for you to keep the light for us now that yours have been extinguished when you left us for a better place.I will miss your friendliness, kindness, quirky sense of humor, generosity,and so many more wonderful qualities too many to list here. Volunteering at SJ will not be the same without you now. ENJOY your new place and let us know if it is really "awesome" up there. Your goodness in life surely has earned you a glorious new home. Will really really miss your presence in our midst. Rest In Peace, dear Friend. Please watch over us ~~~ Mer Engalla
Mer Engalla
January 25, 2020
I am so saddened by the news of Eric's passing. It was such an honor to know Eric and work with him on the USFFA Policy Board and several Negotiating Teams. Eric was one of the smartest people at USF yet ever so humble. He was so dedicated to his family, his church, the University, and the USF Faculty Association. I can't think of a smarter, kinder, more dedicated person. He often came up with brilliantly creative solution to complex issues. Much love to his dear Sharon and Family. He will be greatly missed.
Robin Buccheri
January 25, 2020
I consider myself blessed to have been a neighbor of Eric and Sharon's for 20 years. Eric was the kindest person I've ever known. He always had a funny story or a kind word to share. He united our small community in a way that cannot be duplicated. I am deeply saddened by his passing. He will be missed dearly.

Kelly
Kelly Vodnoy
January 25, 2020
Eric was one of the sweetest guys ever and will be missed dearly. I know we now have another angel in heaven.
Rachel Freeburg
January 25, 2020
A wonderful friend. My prayers are with you. May God bless you.

Carol Quinney
January 23, 2020
Eric will be remembered for his special humor, kindness and. always that cup of Starbucks coffee.
January 23, 2020
You're a prince of a guy, Eric, one of a kind!

Lee Bender
lee bender
January 22, 2020
Keeping you all in my thoughts, prayers, & heart. May God give you peace .
Jane (Petska) Haines
January 22, 2020
God bless you and keep you. It was a pleasure knowing you and rest assured all will be well.
Les Perez
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