Mark S. Blackburn, MBA

Wesley R. Kewish was the father of my good friend Dean Kewish of Dallas, TX.   Wes passed away in December, 2002.  Wes worked for most of his professional career as a project manager for Santa Fe International.  He lived and worked all over the world, eventually settling in Newport Beach, CA.  I met Wes at the age of 13 and was frequently a visitor in his Newport home, or aboard his yacht the Calypso.   He loved me, accepted me, and helped me immeasurably.  Sometimes the parent of a peer can be especially helpful to you, and this was the case with Wes Kewish.  I have seen Wes almost every year of my life for the past 36 years.  Wes, I could never repay the great benefit you brought to my life.  But, I can at least say thanks from the bottom of my heart

An Ode to Wes Kewish

Wes Kewish was a wonderful guy from whom I learned a great deal.  I will always be indebted to him.  Wes taught me that a man could be:

  • very firm and very loving
  • very professional, but very fun-loving
  • a masculine man, and completely devoted to his wife & family
  • well-off, but very thrifty & practical
  • very caring to his family
  • trusting towards his children
  • resourceful enough to create a dinner & keep house
  • in his 50s and 60s and having a great time in life
  • generous & empowering to his family

None of these should seem strange….yet to me they stood out because Wes modeled them very well.   Wes’s home was a safe shelter for me.  The wisdom Wes generously imparted to me has been foundational to my success as a person, a professional, and a Father.

Wes showed great concern for me at many different times.  He tolerated my teenage ignorance & impudence, and shared many words of wisdom with me.  A few times I was skeptical,  but afterwards always came to see the wisdom of Wes.  I really needed his guidance, and was extremely fortunate to receive it.

Wes accepted me and included me.  A few times he came close to exasperating me, but I always eventually saw he was right.  He often should have become exasperated with me, but if he did, he never showed it.

I also was intrigued with how Wes interacted with Dean, his Son, and with Beulah, his adorable wife.  He always spoke lovingly and respectfully of Beulah.  Knowing & observing Wes in his interactions with others added a lot of richness to my life.

Wes was not a church-going man to my recollection.  However, he was a very godly and moral man who was at least as instructive and beneficial to me as any youth minister.  Probably Wes was a lot like a Scoutmaster to me.

Some very enjoyable or memorable times with Wes:

  • Taking Calypso up to Long Beach where Wes had arranged for us to tour an oil platform which Santa Fe was subsequently going to tow down the West coast of South America at a speed of 1 knot….it would take months!  (1969).


  • Going dove hunting with Wes, Dean,  Don Nixon (the then president’s Brother), and the Milhous clan in Parker, Arizona in July 1971.


  • Having Wes show Dean and I how to keep Calypso polished & ship-shape.  It took a lot of elbow grease! 


  • Going cruising one night during the Newport Christmas Boat Parade in 1974.  Dean had loaded up the boat with many old school friends and Wes was aboard.


  • I remember a particular barbeque party at Wes’s Lido Island home where he was barbequing chicken portions and he kept asking a very naïve young man (me) whether I was a ‘breast’ man, a ‘leg’ man, or a ‘thigh’ man.    He had to ask repeatedly, because I was a pretty unaware young man.   Suffice to say, Wes was ever trying to teach me the ways of the world….all with good humor.


  • In about 1985 our friend Lisa Hoag married Patrick Mieritz at St. Andrew’s church in Newport Beach.  I came to this wedding from Seattle.  This was a very difficult time for me, and it was nothing short of wonderful to see so many old friends including Wes and Beulah at this wedding.  (My marriage was failing and I was going through the loss of my job due to a disabling physical injury in my warehouse job.  I was in financial distress).   Wes would have had no way of knowing any of this.  Before he left the reception, he came by and wished me and my young family a Merry Christmas. I barely noticed he had slipped his hand into my coat pocket.    The next morning I found a 100 dollar bill in my coat pocket.   This was a remarkable thing.  It was about this time I began to wonder whether my adopted Uncle Wes wasn’t actually an Angel & not just the Father of my  good friend, Dean.

I should also say that knowing Beulah Kewish was also an honor.  She was so good-natured, cheerful, and kind!  I last saw Beulah in about 1992 I believe.    


Wes & Beulah, God bless you!  I owe you an untold debt of gratitude!

"The Fireman*"

March 2003


*Once Beulah had someone ask to enter her home claiming they were from the fire department and needed to inspect her home. This was obviously a fraud. Whenever I called the Kewishes after this, I always identified myself as the 'Fire Department.'  I became known as the "Fireman" to Beulah & Wes.

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Mark Blackburn

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Mark S. Blackburn, MBA

1310  E  Street Victorian

Sacramento, CA 95814

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Last Updated: February 14, 2010