Thomas Edward (Tom) Ewens, age 88, of Middletown, RI, passed away on July 16, 2021, surrounded by his family at home. Tom is survived by his wife of 51 years Ellen Cowey Ewens, his children Lara Montecalvo and her husband Craig of Barrington, RI, Anne Gantt and her husband Soren of Montréal, Canada, Damian Ewens and his wife Stephanie Alvarez Ewens of Cranston, RI, and Marie Brown and her husband Charles of Baltimore, MD, and eight beloved grandchildren, Matthew Montecalvo, Ingrid and Peter Gantt, Claire and Maya Ewens, and Anna, Luke and Kieran Brown. Tom was the oldest of six children, and is survived by four siblings, Mary Ewens, O.P., James Ewens, Sue Ewens, and Jane Ewens, all of Wisconsin. Tom was preceded in death by his sister, Betty Ewens Quadracci.

Tom was born in Milwaukee, WI, to the late James and Marion (Purtell) Ewens. He received a B.A. from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Louvain in Belgium. He was also a proud alumnus of St. Robert School and Marquette High School in Milwaukee where he formed many lifelong friendships.

Tom was a teacher, philosopher, storyteller, and devoted father and husband. He started his teaching career at the University of Santa Clara in 1962 and continued teaching philosophy and psychiatry at the University of Louvain, S.U.N.Y., Le Moyne College, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He finished his career at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he was a Professor of Philosophy (1983-2001). In addition to teaching, he was a practicing psychoanalyst with a degree from the Belgian School of Psychoanalysis. Tom held various administrative posts, including the Director for Twentieth Century Studies at the University of Milwaukee, Dean of Liberal Arts at R.I.S.D., and President of the Humanities Forum of Rhode Island. He was a longtime member of Common Cause of Rhode Island. He had been a member of the Genesis faith community.

Tom loved people and formed deep friendships throughout his life. He thrived on bringing people together, whether at his home for a dinner party, discussion groups of colleagues, or people he had just met who he would invite to share a meal. There was always room at the table for another guest, and Tom loved telling stories and laughing over a good joke. He was endlessly curious, always reading, and would happily fill in those around him with the current events in the four newspapers he read daily. To his family members, he was a friend, confidante and champion, always ready with sage advice or a probing question to help make clear the path ahead.

Visiting hours will be held on Sunday, July 25, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM, in the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport, RI.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, July 26, at 10:00 AM in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Spring Street, Newport, RI. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21297-0303 ( or Aquidneck Land Trust, 790 Aquidneck Avenue, Middletown, RI 02842 (

Memorial Funeral Home

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