Geoffrey Michael Ewenson

July 13, 1970October 14, 2020

Geoffrey Michael Ewenson July 13, 1970 to October 14, 2020

Geoffrey Michael Ewenson died unexpectedly in Annapolis, Maryland, on October 14, 2020 after suffering an apparent heart attack. He was 50 years old. Geoff’s life was rich and active, full of boats, adventure, travel, music, and a global contingent of people whose lives were better for knowing him. He was a brilliant sailor, a talented coach and mentor, and a trusted friend. His smile, laughter, and a remarkable ability to spread his joy will be profoundly missed and never forgotten. The oldest son of Patsy and Geoff Ewenson, of Newport, Rhode Island, Geoff was born in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, but soon moved to Newport, where he spent his youth on and around the water. In his childhood and throughout his life, he was deeply devoted to his brother Nick and sister Ashley. He graduated from Tabor Academy and then the University of Rhode Island, where he twice sailed to All-American status. While competing in a regatta in Annapolis in 1997, Geoff met Mary Iliff. The two connected instantly and formed an extraordinary bond. They were married in Annapolis in 1999 and made a home together in the city. Mary enthusiastically supported his professional sailing career, while Geoff served as Mary’s unfailing pillar as she grew her business, SpinSheet Publishing Company. Together, Mary and Geoff brought out the very best in each other and their friends. A close friend articulates what all who knew Mary and Geoff understood: “They were always an inspiration to the rest of us as a couple. So obviously in love.” Geoff sailed to second place in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the Finn class in 2004 and 2008, and the list of other high-performing and championship-winning boats Geoff contributed to spans multiple decades, classes, and oceans. He was a leader aboard the boats and a mentor to countless others in the sailing community. Geoff was also an active contributor to the Annapolis community more generally. Together with Mary, he volunteered time and his talents to a number of organizations including Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating, the United States Naval Academy, and Athletes Serving Athletes. In January 2018, Geoff made headlines when he joined the rapid response and CPR efforts to aid a fellow sailor who went into full cardiac arrest on the racecourse off Annapolis. Geoff and two others shifted the sailor to shore and performed CPR until first responders arrived. The sailor survived and Geoff was honored for his role by the City of Annapolis. Despite his vast experience and accomplishments, there was no greater joy for Geoff than spending time with those he loved: driving his nieces and nephews to fits of laughter, sailing races up and down the East Coast with Mary, sharing a meal into the wee hours with friends, or visiting his parents in Newport, playfully calling his father “Sport.” Geoff is survived by Mary; his parents Geoff and Patsy; his siblings Nick and Ashley; eight beloved nieces and nephews; his Labrador retrievers Angus and Malcolm; and innumerable other friends and Ewenson and Iliff family members who loved him dearly. “He was my whole world,” Mary said. We are all tremendously thankful he was in ours. Due to COVID restrictions, there will be a small, private ceremony this week. There will be a larger celebration of Geoff’s life in the future when circumstances allow. Mary Ewenson requests that those wishing to make donations in Geoff’s memory direct them to Athletes Serving Athletes, The Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County, or any other organization that does good in the world. In addition, discussions are underway to establish a charitable effort in Geoff’s name. More details will be provided when available.

Remembering Geoff in the SpinSheet:

Geoff's obit in the Annapolis Capital:


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Geoffrey Michael Ewenson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Rick Franke

October 20, 2020


We just learned about Geoff's passing. Words are in adequate at a time like this , but please know that Barbara and I send our deepest sympathy and condolences to you and your family.

Frieda Wildey

October 19, 2020

Oh Geoff, gone way too soon. So many happy fun times together. The world is a better place because of you. We will always have you in our hearts. Sending love to Mary, the boys, and those around the globe that are grieving for you. Gone but never forgotten. Jim and Frieda

Ellen Robertson

October 19, 2020

Mary, My thoughts and prayers are with you during this unimaginable time. I am so sorry. May Geoff rest in peace.


Learn more about the Ewenson name