Having mostly recovered from a fall at Christmas time, Coach Ferris snuck out "without a fuss" early Friday morning while no one was looking. His spirit began its journey to the heavens from the "Venturan" (Coastal View) Rehabilitation Center below Ventura College. Interesting, how Bob's spirit influenced so many through his life around the same area; next to the college and two homes he was a father.
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Born in Framingham, Massachusetts in 1925; Bob was the first born child to parents Robert William Ferris Sr. and Alice Augusta Thompson. His parents owned an ice business; complaining, as a child did not go over well – he learned as a young man a work ethic that he lived and taught. He moved to Ventura after serving in the Navy during the war. He married the Sheriff's daughter: Margaret Durley and had four children. With the help of other Ventura legends, he designed, built and operated the Ferris Swim Academy where he taught certified Red Cross programs. Divorce ended this chapter only to begin another with Irene Colburn and her three children. Bob and Irene added to the Ferris clan with another boy. Together they nurtured his, hers, and ours defining family values.
Education from Holy Cross, USC, and later John Hay Fellow to Harvard; Bob Ferris is best known for his personal touch in teaching Humanities in the classroom at Ventura High School for close to 40 years. Before and during this time he coached and officiated various sports in Ventura County ending his coaching career as swim and water polo coach at VHS. He retired in the late 1980's and moved to Paradise, California. An active member of many organizations through the years Bob had reigns as the President of the Boys and Girls Club of Paradise and Exalted Ruler at Paradise Elk Lodge. Bob and Irene's life in Paradise is full of special memories ending with Irene's unexpected death in 1997. He moved back to Ventura with his last female companion in life: Patricia Mann in 2001. Bob and Pat took up residence in Port Hueneme close to the marina where the "Bard by the Bay" began to journalize. They enjoyed their years together lawn bowling and entertaining friends and family. Sadly, Pat passed last year.
Robert William Ferris Jr. outlived his three female companions in life. He is survived by his sister Barbara; five children: Victor, Laura, Michael, Linda, Charles; 3 stepchildren: Ed, Steve, Cindy; spouses; 16 grandchildren; and, 15 great grandchildren. As Bob would say about his offspring, "Our genes are magnificently mixed to march triumphantly into a glorious future."
Please join Bob's family in his celebration of life at the Ted Mayr Funeral Home on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 10:00 A.M.; interment to follow at Ivy Lawn Memorial Park, 5400 Valentine Road in Ventura. Stories, food and memories at the VFW hall to complete the celebration, 12:00 to 5:00 P.M..
Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home and Crematory, 3150 Loma Vista Rd., Ventura. Condolences may be left at Ted Mayr Funeral Home.com.
Published in Paradise Post from Mar. 23 to Apr. 22, 2013