William David "Bill" McEwen, age 94, of Lawrenceville, Georgia passed away on  July 29, 2019 after a brief illness.  Born in 1925 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, he moved in 1927 as a young child with his parents, John & Gladys McEwen, and brother Jack to Southern California, where he grew up.  His parents and brother preceded him in death.  He is survived by his wife, Donna, to whom he was married for 65 years. Graduating from Glendale High School in 1943, he joined the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet and completed training as a navigator. He served in the 8th Air Force as an Aerial Navigator and completed 23 missions before the end of World War II.  After 5 missions, the "Battle Of The Bulge" began and in an effort to improve poor  bombing accuracy, Bill volunteered to fly in the nose turret of the Group Lead aircraft to identify the targets.  He completed his tour flying 18 missions with 5 different Lead Crews, for which he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and received the Distinguished Flying Cross.  Returning home after the war, he resumed his education at Glendale College, then studied engineering at the University of Southern California, receiving  degrees in Civil & Structural Engineering.  He worked for 3 years gaining experience in a variety of institutional and manufacturing buildings before joining Daniel Mann Johnson & Mendenhall, a growing Architecture/Engineering firm. Rising to assistant manager of his department, he worked on public schools, industrial, and defense facilities, including rocket test and launch stands. In 1959 DMJM was chosen to provide an Evaluation Of Transportation Equipment Systems & Service Routes To Serve The Future Needs Of Southern California.  The scope of the study was as bad as the title.  Over 200 vehicle concepts were evaluated, from current to  "maybe someday". The formal report became a useful reference in the transit industry for several years. Shortly after completing the transit study the sponsoring agency asked Bill to join their staff,  serving in charge of rail transit development work.  Remaining with the Los Angeles transit agency for  4-1/2 years, he learned the rail transit industry comprehensively from all currently aspiring and operating agencies.  Subsequently, he returned to DMJM to manage large transit projects. After working on development of the Metro system in Washington, D.C., he relocated with his family to Atlanta in 1973 after being selected to serve as MARTA's Director of Design and Engineering for the newly developing rail system.  He served in that capacity until 1977, and subsequently worked on additional developing rail transit systems in North America.  In 1984, he became an independent consultant to clients and attorneys needing professional assistance with construction management projects.  He was a National Director of the Order Of the Engineer, and was awarded 1987 Outstanding Engineer In Private Practice by both the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers and American Society Mechanical Engineers. He was a resident of Lawrenceville since 1993 and was active in community affairs. Most recently he was on the Board of Directors of the Lawrenceville Neighborhood Alliance. In addition to his wife, survivors include son Scot McEwen & wife Debra of Gainesville, daughter Kathleen  Garrett & husband Rex of Atlanta, daughter Carol of Atlanta, and granddaughters Jessica Eryn McEwen of Gainesville and Elise Garrett of New Jersey. Per his wishes, there will be no services. Bill had long involvement with Golden Retriever groups. Those desiring may make donations in his memory to the charity of your choice in support of animals. Cremation arrangements have been entrusted to Wages & Sons, Gwinnett Chapel 1031 Lawrenceville Hwy., Lawrenceville, GA 30046.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline


  1. We will remember him fondly at the Stone Mountain Highland Games and the great conversations we had.

  2. I was fortunate to have gotten to know Mr. McEwen over the past five years. He and Mrs. McEwen always brightened my day when I got to see them. Mr. McEwen was full of entertaining stories of his many life experiences and was always a warm and friendly gentleman. I will miss him very much. My thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. McEwen and their family.

  3. Carol, I’m thinking of you and your family. What a full and accomplished life your father had! I know you are proud of him.


  4. I was honored to know Bill for years. Served with him in the LNA. He was a wonderful man and loved his community. Donna we love you.

  5. I was honored to serve with Bill on the original Board of Directors of Pendleton Park Community Association in Lawrenceville, and Bill served as our first President. Pendleton Park is now a model subdivision because of his leadership and hard work.
    May God Bless you Donna, praying for you that God will give you strength during this time of sorrow.

  6. Bill and Donna were my neighbors on Coalville Drive. Bill and I had many conversations when we were walking our dogs in the neighborhood. He was a good neighbor and did a lot for Pendleton Park. Donna, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers during this sad time. May God comfort you.

  7. Donna, you and your famiy are in my thoughts and prayers during this sad time. May God give you comfort and peace.

  8. Donna,
    I cherish my association with Bill and you in Pendleton Park. We were fortunate that Bill shared much of his knowledge and abilities with the Pendleton Park Community Association. He and I had many interesting conversations on my driveway when he was walking the Golden Retrievers on Sletten Drive. You were good neighbors. I have thought of you both often since you moved. Bill was blessed with a long and productive life. My sincerest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of a husband, father, grandfather, and a good man indeed.

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook