Stephen Nichols McEwen


Stephen Nichols McEwen, 90, of Bowling Green, Ohio passed away March 10, 2023. He was born April 14, 1932 in Bowling Green to the late Merrill and Marcella (Kammerer) McEwen. He married Joan Simmons on July 23, 1955 and she survives in Bowling Green.

Stephen graduated from Bowling Green High School in 1950 and during his senior year was awarded the first-ever Student of the Month honor. Stephen graduated from General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan (now known as Kettering University) in 1954 and continued working for GM for another nine years. His alma mater bestowed the first Distinguished Alumnus Award to Stephen in 1999, followed by an Honorary Doctor of Engineering in 2000.

In 1963, Stephen returned to Bowling Green to serve as the Chief Engineer at Henry Filters. While working at Henry Filters, in 1972 he graduated from Harvard University’s Executive Business program. He went on to become President and CEO of Henry Filters in 1979 and retired in 2001. Through his work, Stephen developed a dozen engineering patents in his name.

He was a member of the Bowling Green Exchange Club, Junto, and First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green. Stephen had a sailboat, Reviresco (which is the Scottish MacEwen clan crest meaning, “I flourish again”), at the Port Clinton Yacht Club where he was a member and enjoyed sailing excursions on Lake Erie. To further enhance his love of sailing, he took all of the power squadron courses, passing them with flying colors. Stephen was a HAM radio operator and looked forward to his weekly chats with friends from around the world. He and his wife Joan were avid supporters of The Wood County District Public Library, as can be seen in the Stephen & Joan McEwen Family Children’s Place. Stephen was integral in the creation of the library’s bookmobile that runs on compressed natural gas. They also enjoyed and supported Simpson Garden Park. In recognition of his strong sense of civic duty, he was awarded Bowling Green Man of the Year in 2014.

In his free time, Stephen enjoyed spending time at their family cottage on Lake Ozonia in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. He loved motorcycles and had the opportunity to go on several tours with family and friends in England, Scotland, Asheville, and Alaska. He had a great interest in clocks and had quite the collection at home. He enjoyed music, had an exhilarating whistle, and wonderful sense of humor which sometimes included practical jokes involving electricity! Stephen was a true engineer who was able to fix anything and everything – a trait that was greatly appreciated by his family! Stephen had a profound love for learning and teaching, never missing the opportunity to sketch or write a formula on any blank piece of paper, including napkins! Stephen adored his family and loved winning “married-the-longest” contests at weddings with his beloved wife!

Along with his wife of nearly 68 years, Joan, Stephen is survived by his children Debbie (Karl) Frey of Atlanta, Georgia, Cindy McEwen of Fort Mill, South Carolina, Sue (Steve) Devine of Marysville, Ohio, Lisa (Jim) Zsigray of Oregon, Ohio, Hal McEwen of Liberty Twp., Ohio, and Diane (Kevin) Martin of Perrysburg, Ohio, brother Michael McEwen of Houston, Texas, grandchildren Brian Frey, Adam Frey, Nathan Frey, Cameryn McEwen, Stephanie Devine, Paul Devine, Connor Devine, Alison Wahl, Kirsten Magers, Andrew McEwen, Colin McEwen, and Anna McEwen, and 10 great-grandchildren with the 11th on-the-way.

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Douglas McEwen, Carol Campbell, and Ellen Burke.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday March 15, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Dunn Funeral Home, located in the Historical District of Bowling Green at 408 West Wooster St. His funeral service will be held on Thursday March 16, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Bowling Green.

Memorial contributions may be given in his memory to the Wood County District Public Library or Simpson Garden Park.

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