Margaret M. (Koppisch) Ferguson

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Margaret M. Ferguson (Koppisch) passed away around 2:40 AM on Thursday, May 9th, at Penrose Hospital after a stroke that began in the late night hours of May 8th. Margaret was born on July 7, 1922, in Brooklyn, NY, as the oldest child to Ernest Koppisch and Alice Koppisch (Devane). The young Koppisch family soon moved to Buffalo, NY, where Margaret's sister, Rosemary McCrindle (Koppisch) (deceased), and brother, Ernest Koppisch were born. When Margaret was eleven years old, her father died of gall bladder complications at the age of thirty-five. Her mother then moved the family to Chicago where they purchased and shared a boarding house with Alice's bachelor brother, Uncle Terry Devane. The Koppisches were also able to live in closer proximity to Margaret's Grandmother Devane and a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins. In Chicago, Margaret attended St. Bernard School and then Loretto High School for girls where she earned annual academic scholarships until her graduation in 1940. In her senior year, Margaret received a creative writing award from the Catholic Press of the United States for a composition that was written in French and featured in the school newspaper. Margaret often spoke with fondness of her time at Loretto High School, where she was inspired to conduct her life as "a Lady of Loretto," not only in her teen years but for the whole of her life. Upon graduation, Margaret joined the workforce as an employee of the AJ Tower Company. Soon, she worked in secretarial roles as a typist and shorthand stenographer at Carson, Pirie, & Scott Company; and also at Victor Animatograph Film Company. While at Victor, she met fellow employee and her future husband, Ray Ferguson from Duluth, MN. The two were married on October 2, 1948, in Chicago. In 1951, they moved to Colorado Springs where Ray began a 34-year career at Ft. Carson that began as the Film Library Director and ended as the Deputy Post Quartermaster. Ray and Margaret had six children together, raised their family on the Westside, and were active members of Sacred Heart Parish through the mid-1970's. In the latter half of the 70's, a chain of events began that witnessed the couple's eventual divorce in 1977, and that saw Margaret find a new church home in 1979 at St. Michael's Episcopal Church for her younger children and herself. In 1981, she decided to join St. Michael's Parish by reaffirmation of faith. Also, Margaret's previous secretarial background and experience developed into an additional stabilizing factor. Consequently, for twenty years, she worked in School District 11 - first as a paraprofessional at Coronado High School and then working her way up to District Registrar, from which she retired in 1994. A personally significant event also happened to Margaret during this time of transition and adjustment. On the very day of her reaffirmation of faith, she experienced a strong visitation of the Holy Spirit that equipped her with needed assurance, new hope, and a strengthened resolve - all of which informed her within for the remaining days of her life. Over time, by the wondrous workings of God and the prayers of the faithful, Ray and Margaret were reunited in marriage on November 23, 1991, at St. Michael's Church where they both remained active members. Additionally, Ray rejoined Margaret at the site of the Ferguson Family home in Pleasant Valley where they lived out their remaining married years together until Ray's death in 2007. Margaret is survived by her brother, Ernest Koppsich (Shirley); Margaret's six children: Maureen Jacques (Dave), Steve Ferguson (June), Kevin Ferguson (Pam), Mike Ferguson (Tina), Raymond E. Ferguson III (Sara), Nancy Swan (Mike); her grandchildren: Travis Jacques (Melissa), Erin Jacques (Emilio del Rio), Kerry Ferguson, Drew Ferguson, Cory Lyons (Tim), Nick Ferguson, Keith Ferguson, Katie Newell, Lauren Swan, Michael Swan Jr; and by marriage: Maryssa Garben (Derek), and Bryan Bowman (MaCall); and her great-grandchildren: Tyson Jacques, Lucy Jacques, Gus Lyons, Penelope Lyons, and by marriage: Graydon Bowman, Brittlynn Bowman, Delilah Garben, and Kade Garben. In the wee morning hours of May 9th and the waning hours of her life on this earth, Margaret was accompanied by in-town children and spouses who encircled her Penrose Hospital ER bed, by her pastor of 13 years, and by her out-of-town children and spouses via smartphones "set on speaker." Margaret's unconscious physical condition was transcended as she spiritually joined with all those present in a true union of prayers and hymns that were fueled by the unmistakable presence of God's faithful and abiding love. Shortly thereafter, Margaret seamlessly and peacefully left this world for her new home and the open arms of Jesus. In her life Margaret enjoyed: an uplifting church choir; having friends and family over for a shared meal; hearing a good joke that could elicit her fullness of laughter; writing and sending thoughtful cards to others; a very hot cup of tea with a little milk and sugar; romantic themes found in any range of stories from Gone With The Wind to Snow White; the dancing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers; history and biographies; attending live plays and performances; inspirational stories of all kinds especially those based on true accounts; The Hallmark Channel; keeping a well-stocked cookie jar for the delightful partaking by her adult sons; bargaining for a lower price; patriotic music, celebrations, and documents; and most of all - serving her family with an undying love. As a child she had fond memories of taking Sunday drives in Buffalo with her mom, dad, and family; and also in Chicago - of rolling up the carpets at their boarding house home to dance reels and jigs with her mother, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Margaret leaves behind a legacy of courage and perseverance in the face of adversity; of forgiveness, commitment, and a strong desire to do the right thing even when it may have been justifiable to do otherwise. Her heirs are the rich benefactors of a life well-lived as evidenced by the enduring good that accompanies perseverance, and the lasting rewards of hard-work, sacrifice, duty, planning ahead, and a determined trust in the goodness of God. Services will be held on Saturday, May 18th, at 10:00 AM at St. Michael the Archangel Episcopal Church at 7400 Tudor Road. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to: Happy Cats Haven, 1421 S 21st Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80904; or to Pikes Peak Hospice, 2550 Tenderfoot Hill Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80906; or to The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, P.O. Box 508, Wheaton, IL, 60187-0508.

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Published in The Gazette from May 15 to May 17, 2013
Margaret Mary Ferguson
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501 North Cascade Ave | Colorado Springs, CO 80903 | (719) 471-9900
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