Delco re:View Winter 2018 - 28

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A Man for All Seasons

continued from page 27

Jim Thorpe, PA.
Whenever Judge McEwen knew or
heard a friend or acquaintance had a son,
daughter, niece, nephew or the like, in law
school - that fortunate young student was
very likely to be offered an internship,
clerkship or other entry level position so
that he or she might benefit from getting
quality legal experience when it mattered
most.
During his tenure,
the door of the
Delaware County
District Attorney's
Office listed the deputy
and assistant district
attorneys then on
staff. When his final
term expired, Judge
McEwen, during an
office renovation,
salvaged the glass
portion of the door
bearing the names so
that it could be mounted
on the wall of his office from that point
forward. He then "founded" the "Order
of the Door," an organization dedicated
to maintaining the fellowship of all of
the attorneys on his staff during his eight
years in office. The "Members" still
gather to reminisce about the formative
years of their legal careers spent together
in the Office of the District Attorney.
The Caesar Rodney Society was
another creation of Judge McEwen. The
fraternal group had an annual luncheon
attended over the years by hundreds
of representatives from the State of
Delaware and Delaware County, PA to
commemorate the legendary 1776 journey
of the Society's namesake through
Delaware County to cast the deciding vote
which resulted ultimately in the signing of
the Declaration of Independence.
In addition to being an author of the
self-effacing legal treatise he entitled Not
Even Dicta, he invented words. Often
when he was asked to offer comments to a
distinguished gathering, he would include
in his speech an insightful comment and
then give credit for his own words as a
quote from a prominent figure in history.
The term he created for this conduct was
"FALTRIBUTION" - meaning false
attribution. On several occasions, a

28 | Winter 2019

Member of the listening audience duly
impressed with a quotation and unable to
locate it with a Google or other search,
would immediately follow up with the
Judge requesting that he send the quote to
them for their future use. Not wanting to
put a friend in an embarrassing situation,
he would eventually confess and admit to
being the author of the insightful quote.
While some would say Judge McEwen
had a flair for the
dramatic, it was done
so with tongue in
cheek, a devilish grin
and twinkle in his
eye that immediately
captured the hearts
and sympathies of
his audience. Never
at a loss for a quick,
humorous observation
or hilarious anecdote,
he was simply just
great fun to be
around. His magnetic
personality made all
those with whom he engaged feel ten
feet tall.
While jurisprudence was the
anchor of his career, an innate sense of
mischievousness was an ever-present
trait as well. Not to be restrained by a
legal career though, Judge McEwen also
worked as a model (playing a dentist in
commercials, brochures and print ads) and
as an actor, appearing as Mr. Sage in the
1998 feature film Artemis.
There are many ways to take the
"measure of a man," but none more true
than his relationship with his family. Not
surprisingly, when weighed against his
love for his family, accomplishments and
relationships with colleagues and others
were of little importance. Like most of
us, in his personal life he experienced
a few profound losses which tested
his mettle in the most formidable of
manners. The first such loss was when
his teenage brother, James, was killed in
a car accident. The most acute loss was
when he and Peggy powerlessly watched
as cancer took their only son, Hap, when
he was only a young man. Fortunately,
however, the rest of the McEwen clan was
blessed with good health and spirits, the
latter bolstered immeasurably by the love,

guidance and companionship of their
caring and compassionate husband, father
and grandfather.
Each Friday evening, wherever
he or they may be, each of his seven
grandchildren would receive a call
from their esteemed and accomplished
grandfather. A grandchild on the
receiving end of the call would hear the
tall, important man on the line, begin the
conversation by stating a unique pet name
or moniker that he had come up with.
Each call reminded them that it was they
who were important, and that they were
loved by their granddad unequivocally.
Like his family, we, his friends and
fellow Members, will think often of, and
much miss, our special dear friend, the
Honorable Stephen J. McEwen, Jr. *
Respectfully submitted,
Andrew J. Reilly, Chairman
Robert A. Auclair
Hon. James P. Bradley
M. Gerry Bradley
Michael Bradley
W. David Breen
James Byrne
Hon. Christine Fizzano Cannon
Hon. Michael F. X. Coll
Patrick J. Connors
Robert E. J. Curran
James E. DelBello
Patricia Donnelly
Daniel Doyle
Hon. Barry C. Dozor
Michael W.H. Duncan
Murray Eckell
Raymond Falzone
Edward M. Gallagher
August T. Groover
Edgar Y. Harris
Hon. Charles C. Keeler
Hon. Kevin F. Kelly

Hon. Chad F. Kenney
Kathryn Labrum
Joseph Lastowska
Hon. William C. Mackrides
Hon. Gregory A. Mallon
Vincent Mancini
Paul McNichol
Stanton Miller
Richard Mitchell
Mary Patricia Mulhern
Christopher M. Murphy
Michael L. Murphy
Vram Nedurian, Jr.
Raymond Peppelman
John A. Reilly, Jr.
David Robbins
Hon. A. Leo Sereni
G. Guy Smith
Harry Spiess
Jackson H. Stewart
Richard C. Tinucci
William Toal
Barry VanRensler


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