Alvin R. Ferguson of Junction City, Kansas, passed away on January 16, 2023. Al is survived by his loving wife of sixty-two (62) years, Julia Maule Ferguson, who resides in the home. Al is survived by a daughter Jill Ferguson of Santa Monica, CA, and of the last couple years residing in Junction City, to provide care and comfort to her mother and father. Also survived by a son Mark Ferguson of Overland Park, KS, and wife Elaine Ferguson and her son, Michael O. Sinn, with three grandchildren: Jessica Ferguson, of Scottsdale, AZ; Elizabeth Ferguson of Overland Park, KS; and Samuel Ferguson, of Kansas City, MO; and their mother Suzanne Pope Ferguson, of Leawood, KS.
Al was born on March 19, 1934, in Mount Park, Oklahoma to Joe Edgar “Ed” & Leottie Meda Wilkes Ferguson. Al was the middle child of 3 boys, Kenneth Ferguson (deceased in 2016) of Poteau, OK and Eddie Ferguson of Terrell, TX. There are numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and beloved relatives.
As a constant student, educator and teacher, Al always enjoyed reading, supported education and engaged in continuous lifelong learning. He graduated high school in 1952 from Olustee, OK. Later attended Cameron College in Lawton, OK. He received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (1958) and Master’s degree in Agriculture and School Administration (1966) from Oklahoma State University. Al and Julia met while students at OSU, were married during their Christmas Break in her hometown of Sand Springs, OK. They lived and worked in Greeley, CO, Imperial, NE, Grand Island, NE, Oklahoma City, OK, Enid, OK, Stillwater, OK, Randolph, KS, Manhattan, KS and ultimately Junction City, KS, where they have resided since 1969.
On July 13, 1954, Al volunteered for the draft and served in the US Army. He spent 8 weeks of basic training at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX, followed by 8 weeks of Communication and Signal School in Camp Gordon, GA. Al served two years in the US Army, part of which was at Camp Haugen in Japan. Al’s job was a Battalion S-1 Clerk. Al is considered a Veteran of the Korean War. As quoted in his personal summary of military experience for his grandchildren’s grade school Veteran’s Day Celebration in 2011, he wrote: “My military experience was a very valuable part of my life. One of the great benefits of being a Veteran was that I was then eligible for the G.I. Bill that allowed me to receive a college education. I am very proud to be an American.”
Al and his brothers were extremely hard workers, learning how to work and save at a very young age. At age 8 he delivered movie hand bills door to door to obtain a movie pass; at age 9, he made two cents a paper by selling newspapers on a corner in Anadarko on Saturday when everyone came to town. As a high school junior, Al delivered The Daily Oklahoman to his customers in the country, driving the 1940 Ford Coupe that he purchased for $300 with the money he earned from tending to his cotton crop of 20 acres. Al’s various jobs included, waiting tables, cleaning lab equipment, driving a school bus, working at a cannery in Modesto, CA and working summers as part of a custom combining crew, taking him to harvest wheat in OK, TX, KS, NE and WY. Al provided for family summer vacations and taught his children how to own and operate a family business by selling fireworks each summer for nearly twenty years.
After college, Al worked in the fertilizer and plant food industry for seven years, after graduating with a degree in Agronomy. He worked for 30 years in education, 5 years as a teacher and 25 years as a principal; He retired at the age of 59. As a second career, he obtained his real estate license. For 17 years, he teamed up with Julia to sell farm property and residential real estate.
Grandpa/Al enjoyed playing golf, learning bridge, fishing, traveling, reading and anything to do with his grandkids. Al and Julia always enjoyed long driving vacations to visit family and friends. He was always around sports, serving as the Assistant Athletic director at Junction City High School, scheduling sporting events, also serving as a coach and referee. Later in life he took up golf and enjoyed learning bridge, playing and socializing with friends. He played numerous golf courses in JC and surrounding communities. Al and his buddies enjoyed discussing business and community affairs in several coffee groups. He enjoyed service to others such as volunteering at the food pantry, giving time to Boy Scouts, Kiwanis, CASA and the Retired Teachers Association.
Al overcame several cardiac events, but was diligent in his exercise, with efforts to overcome and live a long and healthy life through faithful daily walks outside, on the treadmill or water exercises at the YMCA. Al had a great sense of humor and positive attitude, throughout life and even until death. He could brighten a room by instigating conversation, telling a story, a joke or giving a kind word. Even after a severe stroke in late 2020, when his verbal communication was diminished, he would lift spirits with a wink, a gesture or salute.
Alvin has been cremated and final decisions are being made regarding his burial in Sand Springs, OK. A memorial and celebration of life service will be planned in the near future, with remote participation options available for those who do not wish to travel.
If you desire to honor Al’s life through a financial donation, in lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the following: The First United Methodist Church, 804 North Jefferson Street, Junction City, KS 66441; or a non-for-profit organization of the donor's choice.
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