Ewbank—Marjorie Ledman Ewbank, 104, on May 18, 2019, at Pennswood Village in Newtown, Bucks County, Pa. Marjorie was born on July 30, 1914, in Lafayette, Ind., and grew up in a rural setting nearby. Her father died when she was a teen, and to make ends meet, her mother took a job scrubbing floors at Purdue University, with Marjorie working alongside her. As a young woman she spent three years in a sanitarium with tuberculosis. In 1940 she married John Ewbank, a Quaker minister, and they moved to Connecticut, where they helped to found what became Wilton (Conn.) Meeting. During World War II they lived in New York City and were activists in organizations such as the World Federalists, which promoted the concept of a world government to permanently end wars.
In 1951 she and John moved to Philadelphia, Pa., where he practiced patent law. They joined Abington (Pa.) Meeting, and then in 1956 moved to Bryn Gweled Homesteads, a multi-racial, multi-faith, family-oriented intentionally cooperative community in Southampton, Bucks County, Pa. They lived in an annex of another Bryn Gweled family’s home while building a house of their own and adopted two boys, Adrian in 1956 and Robert in 1958. While living there they attended a Southampton Meeting worship group.
In the 1950s and early ’60s, Marjorie taught typing classes at Bryn Gweled’s summer program for youngsters. Her mother, Clara Ledman, lived with them until her death at age 107. Marjorie took care of her mom, and together they made many patchwork quilts—several each year for many years.
As more time became available to her, she served on Abington Meeting committees and did secretarial work for political groups. She served on the boards of the NYC Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Philadelphia chapter of the World Federalists, was president of the American Movement for World Government, and clerked the Bible Association of Friends and the Tract Association of Friends.
In 2005 she and John moved to Pennswood Village in Newtown, Pa., where she continued her interest in sewing. She and John became avid movie-goers. She loved water volleyball and developed a superb, precise serve that in one game scored 13 points straight! She played Scrabble in the Passmore Center at Pennswood nearly every evening in recent years and also enjoyed working on jigsaw puzzles, a public feature always ongoing just off Pennswood’s main lobby. At age 94 she took up the saxophone, which she played in at least two talent shows and for the community on social occasions, including at her 100th birthday party.
After John died in 2012, she took over as president of Home Rule Globally, a charitable foundation that John and his sister had founded to promote a decentralized vision for governance—from towns to counties, to states, to nations, and globally, each level performing only the essential services that it most effectively and efficiently could provide—a system respecting cultural diversity at every level and being far less problematic than the current system of international competition, great power domination, and war.
She lived independently until February 2019, when she contracted pneumonia. After hospitalization, her energy level severely reduced, about a month later she opted to move to Barclay House (assisted living in Pennswood), and she died several weeks later.
Marjorie was predeceased by her husband, John Ewbank; a son, Adrian Ewbank; and a sister, Maxine Ledman Danner. She is survived by a son, Robert Ewbank. In lieu of flowers please donate to one of these charities: Right Sharing of World Resources (Richmond, Ind.) or the Fellowship Fund (aiding Pennswood residents “who have outlived their assets through no fault of their own”).