|We mourn the loss of a wonderful quartet singer and chorus director, Society 'Sound' Judge, quartet and chorus coach, a close friend to many,
an icon in the barbershop world, and a true gentleman. Tom Ewald, the booming 2-time Mid-Atlantic District quartet champion bass of the Fifth Edition (1973)
and 13 years with the Pros-N-Cons (1984 and International Top-10 Finalists),
and a Johnny Appleseed District quartet champ,
died peacefully late last week.
He passed away peacefully after a long battle with his heart, on Thursday morning, 4/21/2016
Tom was a long-time member of the Chorus of the Chesapeake and directed several choruses over the years
including Bryn Mawr PA, Harrisburg PA, Bowie MD, Easton MD, Grove City OH, and Hilton Head Island SC chapters.
In international quartet competition, the Fifth Edition finished 23rd in the 1973 and Pros �N� Cons finished 13th in 1983, 16th in 1984, and 10th in 1986.
Enjoy this video of the Pros �N� Cons from a 1984 show in Cherry Hill: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKnN8Lc8MsU
Tom became a member of DELASUSQUEHUDMAC in 1979 where he served as President from 1995-1996, and he was inducted into the Mid-Atlantic District Hall of Honor in 1993.
Of course, our DELA tribe also remembers Tom as the unwilling, unwitting candidate for President/Chief.
As the nominating committee chairman, he was totally unaware when his fellow committee members conspired against him and nominated him for
President just as he stood up to announce the member he thought was the chosen candidate.
Of course, he was elected by acclimation and was able to institute some well received changes to our tribe.
Way back when barbershoppers were not always concerned about sound production, Tom, after studying for three years under former MAD great Bob Loose,
became one of our District's great proponents of proper singing and good sound production techniques.
Anyone, who had and honor and privilege to sing under Tom's direction, quickly learned these techniques.
He was a talented teacher and coach. Over the years, many of MAD's quartet champions have had a member or more who was directed or coached by Tom.
In his real life, Tom was highly respected and consummately successful. He interrupted college to spend a tour of duty with the USAF as a signal intercept operator�often in very remote locations. He returned to finish college and was employed by the CIA for a year as a mathematician. Tom then transferred to the Office of Naval Intelligence as a Special Agent. His duties were mainly to conduct field interviews for security clearances for military personnel and civilian contractors. Several years into his career, the investigative divisions of the Armed Services were merged into the Defense Investigative Service (DIS). Tom chose that route and began to move up the chain of command. He became Director of the Personnel Investigations Center in Fort Holabird MD and eventually became the Deputy Director for Investigations of the DIS�a position from which he retired.
In every undertaking, Tom was the model of a professional and a gentleman. He was serious, dedicated and tireless in the pursuit of perfection. He was a ardent supporter and defender of his friends and would never, ever turn his back on a friend. Tom never did business with anyone that he did not know intimately. If you were working for Tom, he knew the names of your wife and children, where you went to school, etc, etc. He knew YOU! It seemed that everyone of his long time old friends had some odd name or other. After awhile, you had to laugh when he mentioned Chita or Malavesous.
Tom Ewald was a master story teller, with no short stories in his repertoire. Once he got started, he would backtrack upon backtrack to explain, in exquisite detail, every scenario�every minor point. One of Tom's stories was usually good for several laughs and a good 15-to-20 minutes. Often, he told the good ones again and again. They were all so good, you never told him that you had heard that one before.
He was loved by all who knew him. There were just a few special long time good buddies he called 'Walt'.
Tom is survived by his wife Joan and his children Clare and Greg and some very special Grandchildren.
He was a gentle and kindly man who always had nice things to say to you, and with a vocal resonance that vibrated your heart.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family home: 28 Lenora Drive, Hilton Head Island SC 29926
The family requests NO telephone calls and NO flowers. Instead, we should ensure that he is not forgotten and memorialize him forever
by having his name engraved on the Keep a Melody Ringing Plaque on the wall at Harmony Hall.
To do this, all we simply have to raise $1000 dollars in Tom's name. All monies will be used for Youth in Harmony which was one of his passions.
Tom's family will get a certificate and a photograph from the Foundation showing his name on the plaque. Here is a link that will allow you to donate in his name:
www.harmonyfoundation.org/donorinfo.aspx?id=4 or call 515-823-5611.
Joan will receive a notice of your generosity and you will receive an acknowledgement from the Foundation of your contribution which is tax deductible.
We collectively send our sympathies to his wife Joan, family, chorus members and quartet pals over the years.
Please take a moment to think of Tom today and whisper a little tune under your breath to his memory. Rest in harmony!
Tom was interned at Arlington National Cemetery on October 26th, 2017.