Major Bernard Hewes

HEWES, BERNARD A., 92, died peacefully Sunday, July 6, 2008. Born in Culver, IN to Arthur and Clara Hewes, he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Indiana University, His first employment was at Kentucky Military Institute (KMI) and here he found what would become a lifelong passion for teaching. Shortly after joining KMI, he enlisted in the Army and served in Europe under General George Patton and was awarded the Purple Heart After the war, he resumed his teaching career at KMI where he dedicated his life to enriching the lives of all his students. He followed the careers of many KMI graduates and beamed with pride at their achievements. After KMI closed he continued his teaching career at Kentucky Country Day until his retirement in 1981. He is survived by his sister, Frances Hewes; nephews, Philip Glassley and Michael Glassley; niece, Susan Snyder; 11 great-nieces and nephews; 16 great great-nieces and nephews, and extended family, Bill and Diane Simpson of Louisville. All enjoyed his remarkable wit, outstanding memory, and his studied enlightened grasp of world affairs. His funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon Friday at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 508 Breckenridge Lane. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Thursday at Pearson's 149 Breckenridge Lane. In lieu of flowers, please offer a donation to The Bagby Fund (KMI) for scholarship at Kentucky Country Day 4100 Springdale Road, Louisville, KY 40241
Published in The Courier-Journal on 7/9/2008.
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Personally I had not seen him since that one day in June of 1954 when I went out the door and off into the sunset.  I doubt I will ever forget him.  One item I will alwasy remember was "Number your papers from 1 to 10".  He gave a quiz each and every day.  Captain Hewes best of luck to you in the new world.  
Jim Goff KMI 1950 - 1954


Approachable, but serious!  Major Hewes could always be addressed in a serious manor.  Of all my KMI memories, I don't have a good recollection of junior history.  By 1961 history class, my memories of Major Hewes’s teaching  style, did not include the frequent or surprise tests, that had given him the nick name of “low blow”.  His dialect was memorable, even at age 86, when he gave the taping with Major pace’s son which appears on www.kmialumni.org.      
Frank Lively, '63


Capt. (later Major) Bernard A. Hewes had been at KMI for a few years and was on his way to becoming a school legend when as a 14-year-old boy from a small West Virginia town, I arrived on the Lyndon, Ky., campus in September of 1949 to begin my four-year prep school education.

For the first three years, I did not have much close contact with the major.  But the senior year was a different story.  In those days, the KMI academic curriculum required all seniors to take History IV (American History).  Before we even began the course, some of us were intimidated by the subject matter and by Major Hewes' reputation for giving pop quizzes, which gave rise to the nickname "Low Blow" which had been pinned on him.

Major Hewes taught four or five sections of this course, which was indeed difficult for many of us, but he knew the subject well and was a great teacher.  Before each final exam, he would devote one class period to a review of the text to give us some ideas as to what questions to expect.  I can still see him in my mind's eye  standing in front of the class with his hips resting on the front edge of his desk.  Referring only rarely to the text or notes, he would render such advice as:

       "On page so-and-so, pay particular attention to the causes of the American Civil War" or

       "Read page ____, because you might get a question about the Teapot Dome scandal" or

       "I would suggest that you be very familiar with the causes of the Great Depression and the various elements of  President Roosevelt's New Deal"

At the beginning of the school year he ordered subscriptions to Time Magazine for all of us.  Today's current events will be tomorrow's history, he explained.  Each week, each student was to select one article from that week's issue of Time and write a commentary on it.  As I recall, "Time Reports" were due in on Fridays, and he would return them to us a few days later with a letter grade assigned.   Grades on these reports were to contribute 20% to our course grade for each grading period and each semester.

Thank God for Time reports!  As an aspiring journalist and, I thought, a pretty good writer, I hit a home run on each one of these, consistently scoring an A-, A or A+.  These grades enabled me to maintain a respectable if not a spectacular average in the course.

On one report, I took a big chance.  I saw a Ford Motor Co. ad in the magazine that featured founder Henry Ford and his Model A.  I don't think anyone had written a commentary on an ad before, but I did.  I wrote about Ford's employment of  mass production and other contributions he made to the manufacturing industry.  It  SOLD!  I got an A+ on that one.

 While in Florida early in 1953, we in my class noticed that Major Hewes had to leave the classroom during class period to visit the latrine.  The problem was quite obvious.  The next day some prankster (I forget who it was) procured a cork and placed it at a conspicuous spot on the major's desk before he arrived in the classroom.  From the smile on his face when he arrived to teach, one could tell that Major Hewes immediately grasped the significance of the cork. 

Naturally, this incident provided us with another nickname:  "Corky".  Sadly, this moniker apparently died when we graduated.

It was indeed a privilege to attend what at the time was the nation's oldest private military school and to be taught by such men as Maj. Bernard Hewes.  He was a man of great intellect and great honor, and he loved his work.  He had a fine sense of humor.  He seemed to understand teen-age boys and was able to relate to us.

He died this month at the age of 92, but he will remain forever in the memories of all of us who knew him and benefited from his instruction.


Edward D. Hagan (KMI '53)
Jacksonville, Fla.

 

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