Feb. 25, 1923 -- Dec. 18, 2009
HUNTSVILLE, Wash. -- Richard J "Dick" Ferguson, 86, died Dec. 18, 2009, at the Portland Veterans Hospital.
The funeral will be 10 a.m. Saturday at the Harvest Christian Center, 653 Wagon Road, Dayton. A luncheon will follow. Burial will be 2 p.m. in the Starbuck Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dayton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7020, the Walla Walla Veterans of Foreign Wars relief fund, or a charity of the donor's choice through Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder St., Walla Walla, WA 99362.
Mr. Ferguson was born Feb. 25, 1923, near Bertha, Mo., to Richard Jasper and Precilla Bell Ferguson. He attended Bertha School before enlisting in the Army on Feb. 1, 1943. He was stationed at Thames, England, where he delivered fuel to Gen. George S. Patton's U.S. Tank Corp. There, he would deliver cases of oranges and bananas, meant for the troops, and would hand them out among local school children. Among his noted friends was Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In April 1944, he participated in Operation Tiger at Slapton Sands, England, where he received his Purple Heart. During the Battle of Normandy, Omaha Beach landing, he piloted an amphibious landing boat, firing at enemy bunkers. He fought on the front line at the Battle of the Bulge with the truck corps, December 1944 through January 1945.
After returning home, he traveled the railroads until he met Gladys Crabb in Starbuck. They married Nov. 20, 1947, in Coeur d'Alene. After a short time in Missouri, the couple returned to Starbuck, where he worked as a ranch hand for Oakley Taylor, and then as Jack Penner's right-hand-man for 16 years. He worked for the Washington state Department of Transportation for 21 years until he retired to his farm in Huntsville.
He enjoyed any party or family get-together where conversation was in abundance. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his son and grandsons and tending his livestock.
He was a gold sheaf member of the Washington State Grange, a member of VFW post No. 7020, Disabled Veterans of America, Evergreen Chapter No. 11, volunteered at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center and was an honorary chapter farmer of the Waitsburg FFA.
He is survived by his wife, at home; a son, Rick of Waitsburg; a daughter, Gwynneth Neace of Hillsboro, Ore.; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by all 10 of his brothers and sisters.