Bagpipes echoed off Mt. Tabor’s hillside as the celebration of life came to a close for Hugh Winchester Ewart, Concert Master for the Oregon Symphony for three decades in the ‘90s.
Hundreds of mourners filled Stark Street’s over-flowing Tabor Heights Methodist Church to pay final respects to the kind, generous, talented man revered by musicians nationwide.
Born near Glasgow, Scotland in 1924, he came to America with his mother and grandmother, overcoming childhood hardships to graduate from Juilliard School of Music and become a beacon of Portland’s community with his ever-present violin, easy laughter and twinkling eyes. Over the course of 65 years, he mentored and taught young people as an adjunct professor at Reed, Multnomah College, Pacific University and at his own music studio.
In her “Hughlogy”, friend Sandra Hyslop spoke of his perpetual good humor and indomitable spirit. Son David’s description of his father as a magic Peter Pan, wiley Willy Wonka and loving Christopher Robin was followed by a rendition of Annie Laurie and Danny Boy, sung by Emily Delph that left nary a dry eye.
Hugh is survived by wife Esther (“Essie”, known as the glue that kept him on track with his schedule and family), sons David and Duncan, daughter Barbara, eight grandchildren and one great grandchild. In lieu of flowers, gifts to the Oregon Symphony or to Young Musicians and Artists are encouraged in memory of Hugh Ewart.
Cha bhithidh a leithid ami riamh. His equal will never be among us again.