via O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home
Geoffrey William Ewenson, of Newport, passed away peacefully on July 15, 2021, with his wife, Patsy, by his side. He was born in Melbourne, Australia, to Isabel and William Ewenson on November 6, 1941, and had a sister, Lorraine. When Geoff was a boy, his family divided his time between Melbourne and Blaire Gowrie on the Mornington Peninsula. As a young and young man, Geoff’s interests ranged from drumming in his school’s military marching band to playing Australian semi-professional football and having fun in boats.
In 1967, at the age of 25, Geoff sailed aboard the Winston Churchill to Newport, RI, to watch and support Australia Lady Pattie in that year’s America’s Cup competition. This round-the-world trip (in the wrong way via the Cape of Good Hope) turned out to be a major event in his life, as he met his 52-year-old wife, Patricia Joan Dwyer upon arriving in Newport. Less than a month after meeting his beloved Patsy, Geoff retired from the second half of the circumnavigation. Within a year they were engaged, two years later they were married and three years later they had their first child, Geoffrey Michael Ewenson. Two other children, Ashley and Nicholas, followed.
As an adult, he continued to actively participate in sailboat racing, mainly as a navigator in ocean racing. He was very successful and was known to be an excellent ship’s companion; a highlight was the victory of the Newport to Bermuda Race in 1982 over Brigadoon III. He later continued to give back to the sport through his work on the race committee as a member of the Ida Lewis Yacht Club and the Storm Trysail Club. He was very proud to pass on his love for the ocean and his passion for racing sailboats to his three children. He supported their sailing from the start at the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, through school sailing, world championships and Olympic trials.
Geoff’s career has been in marketing and sales, primarily in the construction, real estate and marine industries. Over the years he pursued employment opportunities in Chicago, New Jersey and Fort Lauderdale, but he always returned to Newport. He will be remembered by colleagues and friends for his optimism and his sense of humor. He was quick with a joke, gave most nicknames, and was prone to singing.
Geoff is survived by his wife Patsy and son Nick and daughter-in-law Meredith of Newport, daughter Ashley Phillips, son-in-law Oliver Phillips and grandchildren Logan and Wiley, of Lake Tahoe, CA, and his step- daughter Mary of Annapolis, MD. He is also survived by his sister, Lorraine Borley, and his nephews, Cameron and Duncan Borley, in Australia. His extended family in the United States includes many in-laws, nieces and nephews. Geoff is predeceased by his son Geoffrey Michael Ewenson, who died last fall.
Visiting hours will be Sunday July 25 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring St, Newport. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the EWE Spirit Fund at www.ewespirit.org