Gerald Wayne Ferguson
A Lifetime of Family, Friends, and Golf
Gerald Wayne Ferguson of Waynesville, age 84, left us on April 7, 2018, where he died peacefully at his home. He was born in Haywood County October 7, 1933, and was a WTHS graduate of the famous “Class of 52.”
Gerald worked with Great Lakes Steel in Michigan during the school summers and after graduation from high school. Gerald was also a former Marine, having served in the USMC from July 1953 to July 1955 and received training at Camp LeJeune, NC. Following his service in the military, he was employed by Champion International (now Evergreen Papers) for 38 years and worked at “Little Champion” in Waynesville until his retirement in 1997. Gerald also held a real estate license for many years and at one time held an insurance license. Gerald also served as the HOA president at the location of his family’s vacation condo in Calabash NC.
Gerald loved his wife Betsy and his family dearly. He enjoyed spending time with all his family and even helped mentor some youths during his retirement years and he will be missed by Joey, Jessy, and Jerry. He had also coached little league basketball for his son Jeff and many of his friends when they were young. He held a very strong work ethic he inherited from his father Bill Ferguson.
Gerald’s passion was definitely the game of golf. He was a long time member of the Waynesville Country Club where he won the yearly Club Championship several times, oftentimes competing against his son Jeff for the title. He enjoyed practicing the game and competed in tournaments well into his mid 70’s as a senior golfer all throughout Western North Carolina winning his age group and placing in many other amateur events. He also golfed in many of the NC and SC beach area tournaments. He loved the game so much he taught his son to play at a very early age and he also taught his wife, Betsy to play. They were able to golf with each other and their friends throughout most of their long life together, both locally and when they traveled, especially to Calabash.
He spent a couple of winters researching the Ferguson Family Tree tracing his Ferguson Ancestry way back to Glasgow, Scotland. He was an avid reader of golf publications and the Western novels of Louis Lamour and Max Brand which he collected. And it goes without saying that he enjoyed watching as much golf as he could on TV but would rather be on the course playing. He had been to Augusta several times over the years and amazingly his last days on earth were spent watching the Masters!
In his youth, he became a member of Allen’s Creek Baptist Church and was also a Boy Scout. In high school, he was associated with the Agriculture, Commercial, Church Leadership, Football, and Scouting organizations and activities. His interest in golf evolved from his working as a caddy at Waynesville Country Club while still in school.
Gerald is survived by his wife of 55 years, Betsy Gibson Ferguson, and their son, Jeffrey Wayne Ferguson and his fiancée Elizabeth Balentine, all of Waynesville, NC. Gerald was the oldest son in a large family of 14 children consisting of 8 boys and 6 girls. He is also survived by sister, Judith F. Shirley and her husband Beuford Shirley; brothers, James Ferguson and his wife Juanita, Gene Ferguson, Terry Ferguson and wife Nancy, all of Waynesville; and sisters-in-law Aulby P. Ferguson (Ralph) and Judy L. Ferguson (Mike), of Waynesville, and Diane Ferguson (Dan) of Matthews; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William M. Ferguson and Catherine Muse Ferguson; his sisters, Ruby F. Alden and husband Owen Alden, Edna F. Harker and husband Ed Harker; Mary F. Keener and husband Lyman Keener, Bonnie F. Hanson and husband Del Hanson, Claudine F. Greene and husband Clifford Greene; and his brothers, Ralph Ferguson, Mike Ferguson, Dan Ferguson, and Stevie Ferguson.
Crawford / Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service is assisting the family. A memorial service celebrating the life of Gerald Ferguson will be held by the family at a time and place to be determined at a future date.