William Lee Ferris, 85, a resident of Salem, passed away peacefully with his three daughters by his side on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. He was born on April 14, 1927, in Montvale and raised in Blue Ridge. Bill was a World War II veteran, having served honorably in the United States Navy. He retired from Alcatel-Lucent (Bell System) with more than 33 years of service in telecommunications. He was predeceased by his parents, Benjamin Louis Ferris and Lottie Marie Giles Ferris, of Blue Ridge.
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He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary Louise Wade Ferris; and their three daughters and sons-in-law, Linda Ferris Crawford and her husband, Everett S. Crawford Jr., of Roanoke; Mary Lou Ferris Reynolds and her husband, William L. Reynolds, of Salem; and Rebecca Ferris Matus and her husband, Joseph M. Matus, of Salem. Also surviving are two granddaughters, Leslie Jane Reynolds, of Salem and Lauren Matus LeNeave and her husband, Christopher E. LeNeave, of Salem; one great-grandson, Nathaniel M. LeNeave; one sister, Dorothy Ferris Brillhart, of Roanoke; two brothers-in-law, Seboy E. Wade and his wife Dorothy H. Wade of San Antonio, Texas and Ammon L. Wade and his wife, Adeline R. Wade, of Jackson, Miss.; and a number of nieces and nephews.
Bill spent the last two years and five months at Richfield Recovery and Care Center (2-West and 3-East), where he appreciated and enjoyed the friendship and compassionate care of a very dedicated nursing staff.
He was a faithful member of Fort Lewis Baptist Church in Salem for 53 years.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." ~ John 5:24 (NKJV)
A private graveside service is planned at Sherwood Memorial Park in Salem, with Pastor Leonard L. Southern officiating. For those wishing to make a memorial contribution, please consider the National D-Day Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 77, Bedford, VA 24523, or The Salvation Army, Post Office Box 1631, Roanoke, VA 24008. An online guest book is available at www.oakeys.com. Arrangements are by Oakey's South Chapel.
Published in Roanoke Times from Mar. 22 to Mar. 23, 2013