William Joseph Ewing
William J. Ewing was born September 28, 1898, in Carlisle, and was a son of Hastings A. and Effie DeLancey Ewing. Bill
was a 1917 graduate of Carlisle High School and a 1919 graduate of Eckel's College of Embalming in Philadelphia.
In 1920, he received his license to practice the art of undertaking from the Pennsylvania State Board of Undertakers
and immediately became associated with his father as a third generation undertaker in Carlisle. After several years with
his father, Bill also became associated with a leading funeral home in Cape May, New Jersey.
In 1922, Bill married Jessie Pearl Morrison. Jessie was born December 18, 1892, in Kennedy's Valley, Perry
County and was a daughter of Geary and Minnie Morrison.
In 1924, after the death of his father, Bill relocated the Ewing Funeral Home and his home to 148 South
Hanover St., Carlisle. During the next few years as Carlisle and the surrounding communities continued to grow so
did the number of families served by the Ewing Funeral Home. On September 3, 1926, Bill and Jessie celebrated the
birth of their twin boys, William M. Ewing and Seymour A. Ewing.
On March 14, 1934, tragedy struck the Ewing family as William Joseph Ewing died at his home at the age of 35.
He had contracted septicemia during the course of his work less than one month prior to his death. William J. Ewing was
buried March 17, 1934 in Ashland Cemetery.
Jessie Morrison Ewing
Faced with the sudden death of her husband, Jessie became one of the first women in Pennsylvania to obtain
a "Widow's License" to permit the continuance of the family funeral home. Jessie faced many challenges, she was
a widowed mother of twin seven year old boys, harsh economic times where upon the United States and she was
now responsible for day-to-day operations of a large funeral establishment. Other significant challenges were
being a woman in a male dominated profession and the ever increasing competitive nature among funeral homes.
The number of families served by the Ewing Funeral Home went from over one hundred per year to less than
twenty-five, five years after the death of her husband.
Jessie succeeded in keeping the Ewing Funeral Home operating and in 1950, her twin sons assumed the
day-to-day responsibilities and the number of families served was increasing. Jessie continued assisting her sons even after
William and Seymour relocated to the present site at 630 South Hanover Street, in 1960.
Jessie Pearl Morrison Ewing, died January 31, 1988 in the Forest Park Health Center, Carlisle at the age of
95. Jessie was a widow for more than fifty years. Her funeral was held February 4, 1988 from St.
John's Episcopal Church, Carlisle, and she was laid to rest next to her husband in Ashland Cemetery.