Family, Memoirs.

Burt Ferguson: in memoriam




Burt Ferguson died last Thursday morning of heart failure; he was 85 years old.  Burt’s four children were with him at the end; one from afar, in spirit, even at that moment en route to him, and the rest around his bedside.

Burt is my  father-in-law, my wife Cindy’s father.  He brought Cindy into this world, and for that alone I am deeply grateful to him.  He was a gracious man, and one who spent a good portion of his life seriously pondering language and philosophy; he was a robust man who prized regular exercise and sport, and whose vigor was remarkably preserved until the final few months of his life.

Two months ago, Burt was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is an incurable cancer of the pleural lining caused by asbestos inhalation, a result of his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II.  Burt was so strong and healthy, that the diagnosis came long after he began to show symptoms.  He was characteristically strong in the face of death, perhaps a legacy of his combat service.  Burt decided not to seek aggressive treatment, and, with the support of his family, decided to accept hospice care for the remainder of his life.

Burt moved into our home, and we provided home hospice care, with very caring assistance from Providence Hospice.  His son Scot came down every week from Seattle to be with his Dad, and help out with his care.  We spent many days and hours with Burt, much of it in animated conversation; there was a lot of laughter and some tears, but it seemed more the former than the latter.  He died peacefully, quietly slipping away in his sleep.  Cindy and I were grateful that we were able to share the end of his life with him.

Burt is gone, but he will not be forgotten.  We have lost another of our heroes from World War II, a man who was prepared to lay down his life, at age eighteen, before it had hardly begun, and whose life was finally brought to a close by the asbestos that lined the ship in which he sailed in defense of this country.

Additional memories from family

We were so sorry to hear about your dad. It had been a very long time since we had seen him. I think the last time was Grandaddy Parker’s funeral back in ’75. I remember so great times with all of you on visits during the summer. May Heavenly Father bless you all at this difficult time.

Love to all,
Shirley, Jerry Jensen & Family
Enoch, Utah
August 16, 2010

I am so glad that I was able to see Uncle Burt back in March ….when he came to mom’s funeral….and Tom and Cindy, may the Lord bless you richly for the wonderful care and love you were privileged to give him those last weeks before he left this earth. My love, thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family.

Barbara (Krell) Radmacher
Wauna, Washington
August 15, 2010

-Oregon Scribbler,

Obituary notice published in the Oregonian August 15, 2010. Oregon Scribbler.


-Oregon Scribbler,

Program for Burt's memorial service at the Willamette National Cemetery. Oregon Scribbler.


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