Local news. Locally owned.
We put readers first.

Boise city councilor, library advocate Marjorie Ewing dies at 98

Idaho's Biggest Toy Drive

“Men pee free, why can’t we?”

Marjorie Ewing lived in Idaho most of her 98 years, and in Boise for more than 70. Her name adorns a room at the Boise Library. She served on the board of the Boise Redevelopment Agency (now CCDC). She cheered on the Broncos for decades.

But like many politicians, Ewing knew how to boil her stance down to an easy, catchy slogan.

Ewing repeated hers often – in the media and at events around town.

“Men pee free, why can’t we?”

- Story continues below -
Tamarack Unsurpassed pass
BVA Development

For reelection to a city council seat, Ewing wanted to fix an issue at the Boise Airport. Men could use the bathroom for free. Women had to drop coins in a lock to use the facilities.

Ewing won that campaign – and several others. She served on the council for twelve years.

Marjorie “Marge” Ewing died last month at her home in Boise.

A long history in Boise

By chance, according to her obituary, she was paired with Bill Ewing during a dance class at Washington State University. The pair endured far after the class ended. They went on to a long marriage – 55 years. Bill died in 1997.

During her twelve years on council, in addition to getting the pay locks removed, she helped move the Boise River Greenbelt forward.

Left to Right: Patsy with son Chris, Gwen, Mary Jo, Carol, parents Marge and Bill, Karen, and Peggy. Photo courtesy City of Boise

“Early on, Marge thought it would be great if anyone, regardless of income, could go to the river for relaxation and peace of mind,” daughter Shirley Ewing wrote the City of Boise. “With public support for a greenbelt and grant money from the US government, the city began purchasing parcels of land along the river.”

She helped get Boise Urban Stages (now part of Valley Regional Transit) going. In 1977 Ewing spearheaded Boise’s efforts to clamp down on auto emissions.

A friend of the library(!)

Ewing’s largest legacy might include her advocacy for the Boise Public Library. She helped find the current main library site.

- Story continues below -
Tamarack Unsurpassed pass
BVA Development

“Marge actually was the one who found this empty warehouse building that the library is in now and arranged for it, with the Friends of the Library,” Friends of the LIbrary’s Bonnie Longstreth told 6 On Your Side. “They arranged for the building to be purchased and remodeled. So she was a great part of the library all along.”

Her service to the library included a stint as president of Friends of the Library. She cheered on Boise’s effort to establish branch libraries across the city, and helped raise $100,000 from the Friends to boost the project. She even cut the ribbon on the Cole & Ustick branch. The Marjorie Ewing Idaho Room on the third floor of the main library building honors her contributions.

The Ewings had seven children – all of them daughters. Marjorie is survived by 15 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and another great-great-grandchild.

Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

Property tax panel recommends restricting, overseeing local government spending

Lawmakers on an interim committee on property taxes on Thursday endorsed three legislative proposals aimed at restricting or overseeing local government spending, and asked...

Citations, arrests possible for violating new COVID-19 restrictions in Boise

The Boise Police Department will issue citations or arrest individuals reported not to be following COVID-19 public health orders as the disease continues to...

Outgoing ACHD commissioners cast decisive votes on contract for director

Ada County Highway District Director Bruce Wong won a contract for his job from a commission set to change in the new year. On Wednesday,...

Boise Mayor, City Council won’t raise their pay in 2021

Mayor Lauren McLean and members of the Boise City Council won't take home their typical pay raises in 2021.  On Tuesday, Boise City Council unanimously...

Popular

Good Burger on the move: Local burger chain closes store with plans for another

Good Burger, the Boise-based chain of burger and fry shops closed the doors on its Downtown Boise location. Crews started moving out equipment from...

You asked: What’s the large Christmas display at Expo Idaho for?

A new Christmas experience will open at Expo Idaho this year - just in time for a socially distanced holiday season. Christmas in Color set...

Out with the gowns, in with the sweaters: Locally owned boutiques weathering COVID-19

The pandemic shut down more than just big national stores mall last spring.  Locally-owned clothing stores in Boise also shut their doors alongside their corporate...

NPR profiles Bar Gernika; Idaho takeout & delivery revenue highest in US

Idaho leads the nation in daily takeout and delivery revenue, according to a new NPR article & podcast. The article sites the National Restaurant...

Related

Latest

Good Burger on the move: Local burger chain closes store with plans for another

Good Burger, the Boise-based chain of burger and fry shops closed the doors on its Downtown Boise location. Crews started moving out equipment from...

Property tax panel recommends restricting, overseeing local government spending

Lawmakers on an interim committee on property taxes on Thursday endorsed three legislative proposals aimed at restricting or overseeing local government spending, and asked...

Out with the gowns, in with the sweaters: Locally owned boutiques weathering COVID-19

The pandemic shut down more than just big national stores mall last spring.  Locally-owned clothing stores in Boise also shut their doors alongside their corporate...

NPR profiles Bar Gernika; Idaho takeout & delivery revenue highest in US

Idaho leads the nation in daily takeout and delivery revenue, according to a new NPR article & podcast. The article sites the National Restaurant...

Rick, Carly & Bob make three: Radio duo join Boise’s Bob FM

Iliad Media will reunite Rick Dunn and Carly Cash on Bob FM. The pair used to team professionally for mornings at Wow Country...

Votes are in: Here’s the ‘Coolest thing made in Idaho’

Last month, BoiseDev told you about the Coolest Thing Made in Idaho contest hosted by the Idaho Manufacturing Alliance. In October, manufacturers and inventors from across...