"May your troubles be less and your blessings be more"
Robert John Ferguson, age 83, left this mortal world on December 2, 2019. He was born August 13, 1936, in his beloved Upper Michigan, in Escanaba. He was the second child of James and Cecile (Richards) Ferguson. Robert served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, in the late 1950s. He had a love of German food for the rest of his life.
After the service, Dad studied mathematics and economics, receiving his undergraduate degree from Northern Michigan University and his Master's degree from Wayne State University. The bulk of Robert's professional career was spent at IBM, as a systems engineer. He followed his "retirement" with a role as a training specialist for First of America Bank, and as an adjunct professor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Dad always saw himself as a teacher. He was a longtime and active member of St. Catherine of Siena Parish. Much of his adult life was spent living on Gourdneck Lake in Portage and enjoying the water, whether sailing, swimming, or checking the wind direction out his window.
If you use genealogy as your guide, Dad wasn't very Irish. If you use passion for how he saw Irish culture (beer and socializing!), he was a blueblood. Dad may have been the most outgoing person who ever lived. He loved to tell stories - rather colorfully, of course. No one was a stranger to Dad. He would flash that high-wattage smile, and away the conversation went.
Dad taught us early to love our Wolverines, and to hate Notre Dame football. He was a fan of all sports, especially the Lions, the Red Wings, the Tigers, and whatever else happened to be on. He encouraged all of his children and grandchildren to play sports. If you happened to see him on his porch in the fall, looking through the sliding glass door at a football game on TV while his children were warm inside, he was trying to change the tide for his team. (He also thought if we all ran around the ottoman - first clockwise, then counter-clockwise - it would shift the cosmos in our favor.)
For those of you who know what being a Ferguson means, Dad was also tough; argumentative; almost always sure he was right; and stubborn. As his cognitive health deteriorated, those traits were still visible. Case in point: while we were all awaiting his meeting with our Lord, he fought on for four extra days! Thanks, Dad.
Dad's passing will leave an unfillable hole in our lives. We love you, and we miss you. Mostly, we are thrilled that you are now able to be truly happy.
Robert's family includes his children: Laurie (Ron Hladilek) Schulte, Michael Ferguson, Patricia Langlois (Tom Rabach), Mark (Tracy) Ferguson, and their mother, Carla Fallon; his grandchildren: Alex, Sarah, Rachel, Danielle, Jared, and Joshua; his brother, Thomas Ferguson; his sister, Jeanne Gilbert; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, James Ferguson. Visitation will be held from 5 PM to 8 PM on Thursday, December 5, 2019, at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 3926 S 9th St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 AM on Friday, December 6, 2019, at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 1150 W Centre Ave, Portage, with an hour of visiting prior to the Mass. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be directed to Prostate Cancer Foundation. Please visit Robert's webpage for directions, online guest book, or to leave a condolence. https://www.langelands.com
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