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John Ferguson

John Ferguson

Passed on: January 12th, 2018

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of John Robert Ferguson, devoted husband, beloved father, dear brother and kind friend, on January 12, 2018, at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, Sydney, NS, in the presence of his loving family.
John was born March 11, 1924, in Homeville, NS, to William Allison Ferguson and Edith Hortense (Spencer) Ferguson.
He is survived by his dear wife of nearly 71 years, Mary ‘Mae’ Archine (Campbell) Ferguson; children, Norma (Bob) Silverstein, Bob (Sheri) Ferguson, Margaret Ferguson and Glen (Beth) Ferguson; brothers, Donald (Effie) and Spencer (Carol) Ferguson; 70 plus grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, of whom he was tremendously proud, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was predeceased by son, Al (Vicki) Ferguson; daughter, Mary-lu (Jack) Nelson; grandson, Aaron David Silverstein, and sister, Edie (Bill) Phillips.
John began his working life as a farmer, but soon explored opportunities off the farm. These included a carpentry apprenticeship and learning foundry work, a trade which eventually took the family to Halifax. It was there that a friend became aware of John’s exceptional persuasive talents and encouraged him to go into sales. This is where he excelled and spent the rest of his professional life, initially selling management consultant surveys with the George S. May Company in Halifax, transferring to their Connecticut offices, and eventually moving on to selling insurance with Great West Life Assurance Company in Hartford. Management positions with Great West Life took the family to Saint John, NB and Wilmette, IL. Another career move to National Utility Service, took the family back to Connecticut, where John worked until retiring in the mid 1980s. Even in retirement, John continued to do what he loved best, interacting with people, by running the key cutting department at a local Home Depot.
John was a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon), which he joined in 1951. Always a leader, he was instrumental in the establishment and growth of LDS congregations all over the Maritimes and New England. He not only built up congregations, he also helped build their meetinghouses, putting to use the foundry and carpentry skills learned in his early years. In conjunction with his church work, John became very active in the Boy Scouts of America and revelled in organizing camping trips and pancake breakfasts for the scouts.
John often referred to himself as a jack of all trades and master of none, but those who knew him marvelled at the extent of his expertise in so many areas. He was a chef, baker, carpenter, paper hanger, painter, plumber, mechanic, mason, roofer, gardener, arborist, butcher, weaver and so much more. He enjoyed a good pun, loved crossword puzzles, playing Scrabble and cribbage, horseshoes, berry picking and clam digging. John had a thirst for knowledge and loved to travel, making trips to Mexico, the Bahamas, Bermuda, South Africa, Madeira and Scotland. He was an avid outdoorsman, a great walker and could never resist petting any cat or dog that came his way. He will be dearly missed by his extended family, along with his frequent admonishment to “be good to yourself”.
A special thanks to all the staff of the An Cala Palliative Care Unit at CBRH for their tender and solicitous care of John and his family during his final days.
There will be a viewing on Saturday, January 20 from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 2:30 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 230 Evergreen Dr., Sydney. Interment will be at a later date at Black Brook Cemetery, Port Morien.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the An Cala Palliative Care Unit at CBRH or Christ Church Memorial Fund c/o Gail Boutilier, 902-737-5483.
Words of comfort can be sent to the family at www.sydneymemorialchapel.ca or e-mail sydneymemorialchapel@ns.sympatico.ca.



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