Ewen, Former Executive Committee
Member, Dies At 93
March 3, 2009
By David Shefter, USGA
Far Hills, N.J. - Gordon "Joe" Ewen, a former member of the
USGA Executive Committee and the individual responsible for
establishing the annual Joe Dey Award, died on Friday at his
home in Winnetka, Ill. He was 93 years old.
It was 13 years ago that Ewen helped establish the Joe Dey
Award, given annually to honor an individual's meritorious
service to the game. While Ewen was never eligible to receive
the prestigious award himself because of his terms on the
Executive Committee, he exemplified the principle of
charitable service by volunteering for and serving on the
boards of several worthy causes.
In addition to serving on the Executive Committee from
1975-80, Ewen was a member of the Rules of Golf Committee,
the Museum Committee and he chaired the Handicap Committee.
In 2000, he received the Ike Grainger Award for 25 years of
volunteer service to the USGA.
Outside of the USGA, Ewen was elected to the board of the
Western Golf Association in 1969 and served as its president
(1978-'79). In addition, he was a trustee of the Evans
Scholars Foundation and chairman of the Foundation's
fundraising "Par Club." During the early 1970s, he raised
membership of the Par Club by nearly 50 percent through the
use of personalized solicitation letters.
He also was president of Randall House, a home on the south
side of Chicago for abused boys, which was one of the city's
first interracial charities. And he also served as president
of the Lawrence Hall School for Boys, now known as the
Lawrence Hall Youth Services.
That dedication to public service has carried over to his
children. His only daughter, Cece Durbin, is a member of the
USGA Women's Committee. Last year, she chaired the U.S.
Girls' Junior Championship.
Born in Evanston, Ill., in 1915, Ewen's interest in the game
came at the age of 6, when he began playing with his father.
After his father's untimely passing in 1927, Ewen continued
to play golf with his godfather, Charles G. Dawes. Dawes was
a Brigadier General in World War I and was Vice President
under President Calvin Coolidge. Dawes also won a Nobel Peace
Prize in 1925 for his post-World War I reconstruction plan.
Ewen graduated from the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey in
1933 and Amherst (Mass.) College in 1937. Following college
he was the editor of the
newspaper before heading up public relations for the Pure Oil
Company while also writing for
He is survived by two sons, William L. Ewen of New Haven,
Conn.; and Malcom D. Ewen of Chicago; along with daughter
Cece Durbin of Winnetka. He also leaves behind five
grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. on April 24 at the
Winnetka Congregational Church. In lieu of flowers,
contributions can be made to the Evans Scholars Foundation or
to Amherst College.
For more about the Joe Dey Award, one of Joe Ewen's finest
read this recent article
about Dick Rundle, the 2009 award winner.