Family, Friends Say Goodbye to Former Big Spring Mayor Russ McEwen

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - A funeral service was held on Wednesday morning in Big Spring for Russ McEwen.
Trinity Baptist Church was filled with family, friends and those who were impacted by the former Mayor. The service began with the song "When I am 64" by The Beatles and colorful, floral arrangements filled the Church alter.

It was a day to remember the man who has been described as kind and loving.

Big Spring City Manager Gary Fuqua says he knew McEwen for many years and says he was one of a kind.

"Russ was just a remarkable man, a natural born leader, someone who cared about his community. His family never met a stranger, always a smile on his face, a handshake and usually a story," Fuqua said.

McEwen served as a member of City Council from 1981 to 1988 and later as the Mayor of Big Spring from 2000 to 2010, where he played a big part in the revitalization of downtown. Not only did he worked extremely hard in the ongoing project of the Settles Hotel, he also made sure the VA Hospital in Big Spring remained open.

"As the City Mayor, he was very instrumental. They were looking at closing and moving our VA Hospital and he fought very hard that, he spearheaded our group and once again Russ was like don't just close our hospital but you need to enhance it and make it bigger which they eventually did," Fuqua said.

The people who knew him on a personal level, like Fire Chief Craig Ferguson, say he was more than just a politician.

"Politician was a very small part of Mr. McEwen. I don't know if you can say he was just a politician, he was a father, he was a friend, he was a leader in the community and he was much more than a politician and a man," Ferguson said.

Ferguson says people should remember McEwen as a devoted man, he was all about his family and his community.

"Remember him as a leader of the community, a man who loved this city and would do anything and make great sacrifices to better the community," Ferguson said.