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!"