Harold Benjamin McEwen of Edmonton, Alberta was born December 22, 1929 and passed away peacefully April 3, 2021 at the age of 91.
Ben’s love of family knew no bounds. He leaves behind his devoted wife of 64 years, Jean; four children – Don (Debbie) McEwen, Murray (Julie) McEwen, Anne (Kerry) Checkwitch and Lynn Bellissimo; nine grandchildren – Keith (Jen) McEwen, Leigh (Dana) Macumber, Mike (Santyna) McEwen, Sean and Jack McEwen, Christopher and Adam Checkwitch, Samara and Tessa Bellissimo; five great-grandchildren – Zach and Callie McEwen, Emma and Reid Macumber, Charlie McEwen; and, last but certainly not least, sister Ruth (Denis) Doll. Ben was predeceased by his parents, Edwin and Merle McEwen, and brother Leslie (Violet) McEwen.
Ben was born in Carsonby, Ontario and raised on a busy dairy farm. Following high school, he graduated from Teacher’s College and was employed as a principal for two years before attending university. Ben earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph.
Ben began his career with the United Co-operative of Ontario, followed by the Genstar divisions of Brockville Chemical and Inland Cement. After working in the private sector, Ben enjoyed 17 years of distinguished service with the Government of Alberta; most notably 11 years as the Deputy Minister, Department of Agriculture. Upon his retirement in 1992, Ben launched a successful consulting business, furthering the development and competitiveness of the agriculture and food industry in Canada.
Once Ben was fully retired, he and Jean enjoyed years of travelling the world and later, annual extended vacations in Palm Springs. In his prime, Ben was an avid jogger, swimmer, golfer and curler. He could be found working out daily at the local YMCA well into his 80s.
In addition to being a wonderful husband and father, Ben spent 25 years volunteering with Edmonton Meals on Wheels, both as a board member and meal delivery driver. He also served on the board of the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society.
We are extremely grateful to the nurses and doctors of Grey Nuns Hospital, Units 43 and 52, for the compassionate, respectful care Dad received.
Due to current restrictions, attendance at the April 15 funeral service to be held at St. Paul’s United Church, Edmonton will be limited to immediate family and live-streamed via Zoom.
Those wishing to make a donation in Ben’s memory may do so at

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Tribute wall - a place to share your memories and condolences

Shirley Sadler (ne Crawford)

So sorry to hear of Ben’s passing. Sending sincere condolences across the miles to Jean and her family.

Gerry Parlby

i worked at Alberta Agriculture during the time Ben was Director of International Marketing and subsequently Deputy Minister for Alberta Agriculture Food and Rural Development. Ben was a real gentleman and a very competent administrator. I had great respect for him.
Please accept my sympathies for your loss. “May you have strength and treasure his legacy.”

Bill Robertson

Jean and family,
Maxine and I were saddened to read of Ben’s death in a recent edition of the Ottawa Citizen. I recall with fondness the years in the late 70’s when I worked for him in the International Marketing section of Alberta Agriculture. He was a fine man, a generous mentor and an inspiration to us all. It was an privilege to know him.
Bill Robertson

Al Reed and Nancy Gall

Our most sincere condolences to Jean and extended family on Ben’s recent passing. He was very proud of all of you.
Following a very impressive career he remained active in semi retirement and in full retirement. Mostly, he delighted in watching his family grow and expand. He prided himself in always being interested and concerned in the families involvements. He will be missed.
Nancy Gall & Al Reed

Bruce and Bonnie Childs

To Jean and Family
Our deepest condolences on your loss. I have fond memories of meeting with both of you every year at tax-time and getting caught up on your past year’s activities. Ben was a real gentleman and very proud of all of you. Bonnie and I also enjoyed meeting up with you occasionally to take in a ball game down at Telus Field. A life well lived. RIP Ben.

Holly Dalgleish

A father, a husband, a scholar, an outstanding humanitarian! Although I never met your father Anne, I can see him in your heart. My warmest and best wishes to you and your family now and always. An uplifting obituary, how proud you must all be.

Chris Jarvis

What an amazing and varied life Ben lead! Our deepest condolences to Jean and the McEwen family on the loss of their dear and respected husband, father, and grandfather.

Ralph Christian

I remember with great respect working with Ben when he was Deputy Minister. Brenda and I wish Jean and family best wishes as you celebrate Ben’s life well lived.

John Tackaberry

I’m sorry to hear about Ben. He was a great fellow to work with and was respected by all who knew him. I remember with fondness his tenure as Deputy Minister of Alberta Agriculture. You could count on Ben’s guidance and support at all times. My condolences to Jean and the family.

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