Ralph James Ferguson, age 92, of Joplin, Mo.,
went to his heavenly home on Friday, April 28, 2017, surrounded by his family.
Ralph was born March 15, 1925, in Granite City, Ill., to the late Sherman Ferguson and Maggie Slawson Ferguson. He graduated from the Granite City Public Schools in 1942, and shortly after enlisted into the U.S. Navy. He was honorably discharged in 1946. Ralph worked as an accountant and office manager for different Chrysler dealerships in Michigan and Joplin prior to retiring in 1990. He also was a minister with the Pentecostal Church of God.
Ralph was a talented organ and piano player and was known by many of his friends as the "Music Man", playing a lot of the golden oldies from the big-band era, Christmas music, and southern gospel.
He was always ready for an adventure, and made many unforgettable memories with family and friends. Ralph loved to travel. He preferred back roads, and encouraged taking the time to see sites along the way, because, "We may never travel this way again."
Ralph was a true patriot at heart, and wore the colors of our flag with pride. He was privileged to travel with other veterans to Washington D.C. in 2012 as a guest of the Honor Flight Network, whose sole purpose is to honor America's veterans.
Ralph had an extensive knowledge and love for automobiles. He had a diverse collection of scale models that he enjoyed immensely and could list in detail every vehicle he owned through the years.
Above all, Ralph loved God, his family, and friends, and will be missed for his loving nature and giving spirit. He was known by his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren to always have a smile, a hug, and a big dish of his "famous" homemade ice cream ready to share.
Ralph married Valeria Marie Lindsey on April 19, 1943, in St. Louis, Mo. She preceded him in death on June 29, 1995.
Their daughter, Linda Pigg, and great-great- granddaughter, Olivia Dodson, also preceded Ralph in death.
Survivors include two daughters, Marla Crowder and husband, Walt, of Magnolia, Texas, Paula Quinn and husband, David, of Mt. Pleasant, Mich.; son, Doug Ferguson and wife, Lily, of Burnet, Texas; son in-law, Gary Pigg, of Joplin; sister, Ruth Hayes and husband, Don, of Thayer, Mo.; 10 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren; plus, a host of extended family and friends.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, May 6, at 2 p.m., at Parker Mortuary, with a visitation to follow the service. The Rev. Paul Dilts will be officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to "Partners in Missions", in care of the mortuary.
Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Parker Mortuary, Joplin.
Published on May 4, 2017