Ferguson-Van Vranken, Irene
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Irene Fritch Ferguson Van Vranken passed away on Tuesday November 19th peacefully in her sleep at her home on the Bluebird Ranch in Glendora, California. She was 96 years old. Irene was born in Paris, Illinois on July 1, 1917. She was the daughter of Orisa Morford and Lewis Matthew Fritch.
Irene graduated from Steven's College in Missouri and then the University of Southern California in 1939. She enjoyed telling the story of traveling by herself from Chicago to L.A and arriving late on a hot August afternoon wearing a wool dress. The USC admissions office had closed. She was so disappointed, sat down on the steps with her suitcase in hand and began to cry. She knew no one and had no place to go, when an older gentleman approached her and asked if he could be of assistance. He invited her to his family's home for dinner and to stay until she found a place to live. When he told her he was the president of USC, she accepted the invitation!
In 1943 she married Richard (Dick) Mogeau Ferguson, a geologist and 4th generation Californian. They moved to the Bluebird Ranch in Glendora in 1946 and began a 36 year marriage which included having three sons, Timothy Jay, John Morford and Matthew Roy. Her husband, Richard, passed away January 16, 1979.
In 1981 Irene married Bruce Van Vranken, a family physician and father of five whose wife passed away in 1980. Their youngest child, Patty was 13 and fulfilled Irene's dream of having a daughter. Bruce and Irene were married for 32 years. Bruce turns 90 December 27th. As Irene would say, "I robbed the cradle when I married him".
Irene is survived by two of her sons, Tim and John, and her husband Bruce. She has 3 grandchildren, Richard Allen Ferguson, Alexander Roy Ferguson and Jessica Irene Ferguson, and five step children, ten step grandchildren and two step great grandchildren.
A memorial service to celebrate this remarkable woman's life will be held at Glenkirk Church, 1700 Palopinto Ave. in Glendora on January 26TH 2014 at 2:30 PM. At the Family's request, and in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Medical Benevolence Foundation (Financial Processing Center P.O. Box 96877, Washington DC 20090) or Foothill Presbyterian Hospital Foundation for the Ferguson Van Vranken Outpatient Surgical Center at 250 S. Grand Ave Glendora, Ca. 91741.
Published in San Gabriel Valley Tribune from Dec. 18 to Dec. 19, 2013