Mary Elizabeth Ewing was a student at the University of North Dakota (UND) from roughly 1920 to 1923. Born September 27, 1900, in Tuscola, Illinois, she moved to North Dakota at age twelve when her father and uncle opened a hospital and nursing school in Kenmare, Ward County. After completing high school, she attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, for one year before persuading her father to let her return to North Dakota to pursue her teaching certificate at UND.
References to Mary in the official UND records are fragmentary. She was listed as a junior in the education program in the student directory for academic year 1921-22, but her name does not appear in the 1922-23 directory. She was, however, listed (again as a junior) in the 1923 Dacotah yearbook, which added that she was involved in the Women's Athletic Association on campus. She is not mentioned in the 1924 yearbook. Although she identified herself a member of the Class of 1923 at the beginning of her scrapbook, it is unknown what academic degree, if any, she actually received.
Following her time at UND, she spent one year teaching in rural North Dakota, followed by another two years in Burlington, Wyoming, where she met Lester Dustin. They married August 28, 1924 and their only child, Peggy Jean, was born the next year. The family remained in Wyoming until 1942, when they relocated to Glendale, California. Lester Dustin died in 1970, while Elizabeth died in 1991.