Toppenish—Ralph N. McEwen, 83, died Saturday, April 19, 2003 at his home. He was born November 20, 1919 in Ellensburg, WA to Oscar and Mary McEwen, a pioneer family of the Kittitas Valley.
He served in the Army during WWII in the Pacific Theater and was a decorated veteran. He graduated from Ellensburg High School and Ellensburg Normal School (now Central Washington University) receiving his Teachers Degree. He was a teacher and principal at Buena Grade School, McKinley Grade School and Lincoln Grade School all in the Toppenish School District. He was instrumental in the implementation of Bilingual education in the District.
He was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church in Zillah and served as Treasurer since 1990 until his death, was an avid hunter, fisherman, and gun collector. He tied his own flies, worked for hunters’ rights, taught citizenship classes and actively supported the MERIT alcohol and drug abuse treatment organization.
He is survived by sons, Arthur and wife, Anne McEwen of Yakima, Ron and wife, Diana Childress of Chandler, AZ, John and wife, Nancy Jo Childress of Sanford, NC and daughters, Barbara and husband, Richard Lilly of Yakima, and Faye and husband, Richard Halsted of Tonasket, WA, his brother Mack and wife, Georgia McEwen of Maple Valley, WA, sister, Cora Ellen and husband, Morris Miller of Eugene, OR, 13 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Mary, his daughter Vicky McEwen, his sister Gladys Benz and great grandson Taylor J. Rawley.
Funeral services and celebration of his life will be held at Colonial Funeral Home, 228 South Alder, Toppenish, WA on Thursday, April 24, 2003 at 1:00 p.m. with burial to follow at Elmwood Cemetery. Military honors will be conducted by the Yakima Warriors Assn. Viewing Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Christ Episcopal Church, in care of Colonial Funeral Home.
Contributed by: Shelli Steedman