Craig Earl Ewy, 52, spoke frequently with faith, confidence and excitement, knowing that the time was near when he would be leaving this life to forever be in the presence of Jesus. On Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, on the family farm where he had lived his entire life, Craig was welcomed into the arms of his Father.
Craig was born Oct. 26, 1968, in Newton, Kan., to Earl and Carol Ewy. From a very young age, it became evident that Craig was destined to become a farmer. As a fourth-generation farmer, Craig would learn everything he would ever need to know from his father, Earl, and his Grandpa Rueben. Farm life and being a farmer would shape Craig into the hard-working man that he became. Working the land, he learned that when the time came to plant or harvest, that was what had to be done, regardless of what other activities or things may be going on. Craig prided himself on the fact that he could cram three days of farming into just 24 hours. Craig was very adept at welding, and if he couldn’t find what he was looking for, he had the engineering skills to build it himself, which was passed onto him by his father. He would spend countless hours in his shop building and designing things to make their farm more efficient. There was no project too big or too small for him to tackle. You never saw Craig without a pair of pliers and baling wire, because he knew it might come in handy.
Craig’s love of farming and tending the soil would be something he would enjoy his entire life and would take great pride in. Along with planting the usual crops found in Kansas, such as soybeans, corn, wheat, milo and sunflowers, Craig was never afraid to try something new, and he wasn’t afraid of what people would think when he would try his hand planting some of the non-traditional crops rarely seen in Harvey County, such as Sunn Hemp and sesame. Always a businessman and entrepreneur, Craig was continuously searching for ways to expand the family farm, but at times, it could be hard to find outlets to market the final commodity of “exotic” crop. There was more to McDonald’s sesame-seed bun than at first blush.
Craig shared his love and knowledge of farming with anyone who desired to learn about hard work. His humble demeanor made him the perfect teacher for high school students that would spend their summers beside him learning about farming and helping to work the land. There wasn’t anything about farming that Craig wasn’t willing to share or teach someone.
From Craig’s first marriage, he was blessed with three children, Matraca, Monica, and Jacob, and when Craig wasn’t busy farming, Craig enjoyed traveling. Craig’s trip in which he took his children to Disney to see Mickey was a memory he cherished. Spending time with his family and friends was important to him, and vacationing was a great way to build relationships. His annual four-wheeling trips to Colorado were always a favorite. This year, in late July, while taking a break from chemo, the trip with his brother-in-law, Arlen, to Colorado would prove to be especially good for his soul. Trips to Florida, Hawaii and other places would mean an opportunity for Craig to sample yet more Mexican food and things with a Cajun flair.
Most mornings, Craig could be found with a small group of loyal and close friends at the Hesston Tru Value. Here, they would share stories, compare rainfall totals, drink cheap coffee, enjoy a good cinnamon roll, and solve the world’s problems.
In February 2016, Craig would marry the love of his life and best friend, Jeni. Though some people can be skeptical of online dating, their love was brought together through the Farmer’sOnly.com dating site. Their courtship would be brief, but the love they shared was deep and abiding. Jeni would bring to the marriage her children, Harley and Cooper, who Craig would take in and love as though they were his own flesh and blood. Jeni’s shared love of the Lord would lead Craig to convert to the Catholic faith shortly after they were married. Craig would attend daily mass whenever he got the chance, and with his renewed relationship with Christ, his love and generous spirit would flourish. Together, their new blended family would learn about unconditional love as they would learn to celebrate each other’s company, faithful love, and what it means to live the farm life.
Craig was diagnosed with myxoid liposarcoma in February of 2019. Never one to complain about the hand that life dealt him or to shy away from the diagnosis, Craig faced his cancer head-on with grace and peace that can only come from his personal relationship with his Lord and Savior. When it became apparent that the cancer treatments were no longer working, Craig made the courageous decision to pursue quality of life. In his last weeks, Craig often spoke of how humbling it was to see Christ’s love in action through the neighbors and friends who would visit, support him, and love him and his family through his all-too-short battle with cancer. Though cancer took his life, it never dimmed his spirit or faith. Those lucky enough to have Craig in their life and call him a friend will miss his loyalty, his faithfulness and knowing that he would always be the one to show up whenever anything was needed. Craig’s generous and loving spirit allowed him to leave his friends and family better for having known him and this world better for having him in it.
Craig is survived by his partner in crime and loving wife, Jeni; his children, Matraca (Jordan) Smith, McPherson, Kan.; Monica (Tate) Minchew, Lubbock, Texas; Jacob Ewy, Newton, Kan.; and Harley and Cooper McCormick of the home. He is also survived by his mother, Carol Ewy, Hesston, Kan.; and sisters, Diane (Mark) Yoder, Phoenix, Ariz., and Lanita (Arlin) Bohn, Overland Park, Kan.. He is also survived by his loyal farming partner and friend, Adam Grieser (Vanessa), Newton, Kan., his nieces and nephews and too many friends to count. Craig was preceded in death by his father, Earl Ewy.
Craig served his community volunteering for the Moundridge and Hesston Fire Departments. He served as an officer on the Emma Township Board and was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Memorials may be made to the OLG Altar Society or OLG Knights of Columbus in care of Petersen’s Funeral Home, 201 N. Main, Newton, KS, 67114.
Holy Rosary was at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Newton, with visitation following from 7 to 9 p.m.
Catholic Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Private family burial to follow.