James Joe Ferguson
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James Joe Ferguson, 39, of Washington, D.C., educational outreach director of the National Geographic Society.

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Published in The State Journal-Register on Sep. 13, 2001.
Memories & Condolences
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50 entries
May 8, 2021
i hope you're at peace now, love.
zephenie grace
August 28, 2019
I am so sorry you passed away on board Flight 77. Be at peace, bud.....
September 13, 2017
Late 1980s: We were both students at Ohio University, and we knew each other from living in the grad school dorm. We shared the same circle of friends. I was there the day that you told us you were going to work for the National Geographic, a dream come true. I was so pleased for you. 9/11/2001: I did not know that you were on the flight which hit the Pentagon that horrible day until a year had passed. When I found out, I was incredibly shocked and saddened. It brought back every horrible feeling from that day. I have thought of you every year ever since. We were not close friends, but I really enjoyed knowing you, hanging out, and occasionally partying. I am glad that you got your dream job and seem to have had the happiest of lives. Everything that you stood for contradicts the actions of the terrorists. I do hope that you rest in peace.
September 11, 2017
You remain in my heart, thoughts and my prayers on the 16th anniversary of losing you. There has never been another you and there never will be in my lifetime. I miss you more than I can ever say. XOXO
Steve Snyder
September 11, 2016
I miss you fifteen times as much as I normally do....and hope you know how many others miss and treasure you. My life has never been the same without you, yet you are within my heart with every beat of every moment - a special place reserved only for you, my wonderful friend!
God bless you, I love you.
Steve Snyder
September 11, 2015
You remain in my memories, my heart and my soul every day of every year, but especially this day, 14 years later. I love you!
Steve Snyder
March 17, 2015
As I spent a week travelling during spring break, I paused to think of those lost on 9/11. National Geographic especially came to mind as my wife and I visted the Bridges of Madison County. My prayers are with the friends and family that you left behind. Love from Texas.
Del Newberry
September 11, 2014
You will be forever in our hearts, Joe we miss you more than words can express,
Randy and Michelle Ferguson
September 11, 2013
Be well, Joe.
Kraig Hannum
September 11, 2013
I will always miss you...
Lisa Bennett Rolik
September 11, 2013
As today arrives, so does another anniversary of losing you and missing you,yet knowing you are in a better place since then. You remain so bright in my heart and memories, seems like it was just yesterday but also like it's been centuries since I heard your voice and laughter. Bless you, Barb, and Winston, and know how much I continue to love you!
Steve Snyder
April 10, 2013
Joe, I am in medical school now, would love to talk to you. I will see you again.
John Hayden
September 12, 2012
Dear friend you are still sorely missed. The gift of you in this world does live on in those who remember you. You are and will always be loved and missed.
Laura Moir
September 11, 2012
More love is in my heart than there are words to express it, eleven years after losing you....today and every day!
Steve Snyder
September 11, 2012
We still miss you, no matter how many years have gone by.
Kraig Hannum
Vermont Geographic Alliance
Kraig Hannum
February 28, 2012
Dear Joe, I miss you everyday, and still feel terrible that I didn't spend the time with you when I had the chance. I love you and miss you. Watch over KoKo for me, you will make her smile. Also take care of our friend Kristi. We will all be dancing again soon.
Cherie Vela
September 12, 2011
Though I am sure I would have learned a lot from you on our trip to the Channel Islands, in death perhaps I learned even more. The memory of you and your colleagues on flight 77 has always inspired me to be a better teacher, to teach my students about tolerance and compassion and a "world view". My heart aches for your wife. Thank you for all you did to make this world a better place.
Kristin Majda
September 11, 2011
Mary, Joe loved you very much. I miss him too. Lisa
Lisa R.
September 11, 2011
Many memories are treasured of the good times...........
Marcie Miciak
September 10, 2011
Ten years ago my life changed forever with the events of 9/11 and losing you, my wonderful friend. Barely a day goes by without you in my thoughts, my heart, my memories...and tears still come with them, but smiles also.
I love you, Joe. You are forever with me.
Steve Snyder
September 2, 2011
My dearest, Joe. I miss you as much now as when we lost you in 2001. You remain in my heart always. How I wish i could talk with you again. As the 10th anniversary approaches I remember that horrible day. I know you took care of the children traveling with you and I pray that none of you really suffered but were at peace deep inside. I miss you now and forever.
Laura (Janson) Moir
September 11, 2009
As yet another anniversary of 9/11 and losing you is here today, you remain the brightest of stars in my sky...It seems like only yesterday, yet also so long ago. But the light you were and are in my life will never dim, just like the stars in the sky. May you be at peace and happy, and feel the love that lives on in my heart every day, but especially today!
Steve Snyder
August 13, 2009
To the family of James Joe Ferguson:
James gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. My deepest sympathy to you. We must never forget!
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers
September 17, 2008
God Bless you Joe. 9/11 should have never have happened but it did. That day will never be forgotten in any of our hearts. Your spirit still lives on. You are with our Dear Lord now.
COLLEEN wilson
September 12, 2008
i think you were a very brave man to save other people.
m l
September 11, 2008
JoeLEENE! WOW 7 years have gone by...it is amazing thru them, that somehow your spirit has come back into my life. With my volunteering for Went Center for Loss and Healing - Camp For Get Me Not, haveing ALBERT as my little buddy - whose cousin's friend was on the plane with you, winning a National Geo t-shirt to helping my dear friend, Gary, pick out furniture at Marlo the same weekend you helped me...until you werr taken away from US...I MISS YOU....every year I wear one of your Tommy Hilfinger shirts that I "aquired" from you. The navy blue with stars all over it...just the the American Flag in your HONOR - You helped me with my coming out...and I greatly love you for that...I am looking at your smiling face and can hear you calling my LS...your Little Sister...! Some day we will meet...until then.....! Miss you buddy, LS
Keith Redding
September 11, 2008
I placed many many american flags in
my rural yard so they could be seen
from heaven and y'all would know you
were not fogotten. May God Bless those who love you and miss you.
September 8, 2008
Joe your presence in my life was instantaneous when we met in graduate school at Ohio University in 1985 . You knew me, understood me and loved me like no one else. Our bond was boundless and I cherish every memory of our time in life as close friends. I miss you now as much as I did in 2001 sometimes even more. You are forever in my heart and mind. I can't say more as there are really no words and the tears have started to blur my vision. I love you, I miss you, and I will always remember you my dear, dear friend.
Laura (Janson) Moir
September 5, 2008
As 7 years without you in my life approaches, my heart continues to have an empty space, which only you and you alone could fill... may you, your mom Barb, dear Winston, and all those in Heaven with you, be blessed with peace and the eternal happiness you deserve so much - and gave to each of us in your life while you were with us on Earth... I love you and miss you more than words can say. XOXO Steve
Steve Snyder
October 1, 2007
Joe, I think of you often and pray for you and your family. God bless you. Love, Leona (Haverkamp) Heraty and Steve Heraty
Leona Heraty
September 11, 2007
I love you and miss you as much today as six years ago, my wonderful, loving friend....I have you here in my heart always and above me as my guradian angel. Love You, Steve ( your "Meemaw")
Steve Snyder
September 11, 2007
Tracy Slappey
July 19, 2007
In memory....
P Tabbernor
October 31, 2006
As I cross-stitched your name on the memorial that I am doing for all of the victims, I prayed for you and your family. Please know that your death was not in vain. We will always remember. God Bless.
September 11, 2006
Tracy Slappey
June 27, 2005

You set the bar high for those that continue your work towards bettering geographic education. Even more impressive is that you set the bar even higher for those that desire to be honorable, forgiving, and respected persons. May those standards that you set live on forever.
Doug Bradley
June 10, 2004
my namesake.
james ferguson
January 20, 2004
May God and His Angles Watch Over You in Heaven know that you and your Family are in my prayers
September 10, 2003
anne jones
August 28, 2003
From one educator to another. Joe you will be truly missed. Your work in education was an inspiration to me. Geography will always be shared with my students in memorance of you. You will always be rembered.
Amanda Breazeale
September 11, 2002
My name is Leona Haverkamp Heraty, and I was a good friend of Joe Ferguson while we were in college at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas from 1984 until 1986. Joe and I lived in a co-ed honors dorm, Retama Hall, and he was introduced to me by my roommate, Lori Cardenas. I'll never forget what she said to me before I met him. She said, "Leona, you've got to meet the nicest guy ever! His name is Joe Ferguson, and he just moved into the dorm. He's getting his master's degree in cartography, and he used to be a cheerleader while he was an undergraduate student in Mississippi." She introduced me to him, and we all became fast friends.

Joe was so much fun, and really loved life. He even showed us some of the cheers he did and one of the best memories I have of him is when we were blasting the song, "Let's Do the Time Warp," from Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Joe led us in the Time Warp dance. After he graduated from SWTSU, he kept in touch with me, sending me letters every Christmas. The letters were fascinating, as some of you know, detailing his fabulous, exotic travels for National Geographic, and the wonderful charity work he somehow found time for.

Joe, my husband, Steve, and I, are so sorry we never got a chance to visit you in Washington, D.C. You are a wonderful, beautiful person, and will be missed by all. God bless you and I know we'll all see you again someday on the other side. Until then, I will keep you and your family, especially your mother and best friend, Steven, in my prayers. Love, Leona Haverkamp Heraty
Leona Haverkamp Heraty
September 10, 2002
Thanks for all the opportunities you shared with your fellow teachers. I saw the world and I can share it with my students for years to come. Your efforts to improve geographic education will "pay it forward" for years to come. Aloha from a geography teacher in "fly-over country."
S. McCarville
September 10, 2002
Not a day goes by that I don't think about Joe. I had the pleasure of working with him at the National Geographic Society. He was truly loved and admired by everyone. Joe, you will always be remembered.
Karen Harshbarger
September 9, 2002
Joe was my cousin, sadly I never knew him that well. I was very close to his grandmother (my mother's aunt.) So I heard alot about him. I remember when I was a kid he gave me a subscription to National Geographic for Kids. Aunt Frances must have told him about me and asked him to do that. It was a sweet thing to do for a cousin he didn't even know. I regret that I never knew him very well, and now I never will. I ask all of you please pray now for my cousin Barb,Joe's mother. She will need all the support she can get on this anniversary of this tragedy. Also, on behalf of my family I would like to thank all of you who have signed this guest book. I can tell you all truly cared for Joe. God Bless You All.
Sarah Chandler
April 30, 2002
Today, April 30th, 20021, 1 mile was walked to honor the life of James and all the family, friends and loved ones he left behind. May you find some comfort in knowing that you do not grieve alone.

James, may you rest in peace, you will never be forgotten.
Kathy Swaringen
April 18, 2002
Rest in peace! God Bless you and all of the ones that you left behind.
Angie Campbell
January 12, 2002
America Cries
We see your sorrow-
and our hearts cry....
We can not erase your pain
but you do not have to face the anguish alone-for we-
-the American people-
are beside you.
We so desperately want to have the touch that brings you comfort,
the strength that gives you courage,
and the words to lighten your spirits.
And when we are left speechless
may the silence of our nation weave love into your hearts
to ease your sorrow.
May you find healing through our nation's strength as we-
-the American people-
face this difficult time together. Our hearts are with you. Teresa Jahn
Dixon, IL
Teresa Jahn
November 13, 2001
In remembrance and honor of my best friend, Joe, I share the words I spoke at his memorial service in Washington, DC: "I wanted to share with you tonight something that gave me great comfort three years ago when my brother, Bruce, passed away unexpectedly in London. Joe and Bruce were very close, and I thought this would be appropriate for this evening and for Joe.

DEATH is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air f solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me , pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effort, without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well.
Henry Scott Holland
Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral

Many of you know me, and many of you here may not, so…. I am Steve Snyder – Steve – also known to many of you as Mary, thanks solely to Joe, known to many - and especially me – as Joleen. Without Joe, there’d be no Mary… and I’d also have no alter- ego names… like MeeMaw…or Sheila, who Joe designed as Mary’s evil twin… she was white trash, you know, and lived in a trailer park and had a nasty temper! No, without dear Joe I’d just still be plain old Steve Snyder… and there might not have even been Joe’s “What-everrrr, Maaarrryyyyy!”

A while back, my dear friend, Laura, gave me a picture frame about friends, which I think is fitting to share tonight – it reads: “FRIEND is one of life’s greatest gifts. Thoughtful in endless ways. A friend lends a hand without being asked, Encourages growth, and Supports change. In good times and bad times, a Friend remains reassuring and faithful. Time and distance cannot diminish friendship; it is Forever.”

For those of you that don’t know, I am honored to have been chosen by Joe to be one of his few “Best Friends” – a role I’ve been blessed to play in his life for however many years it’s been. I really am not even sure, as it seems like Joe and I have been together forever. One of our first conversations of many at our home-away –from-home, Mr. Henry’s, was all about how we felt we had to have been separated at birth, cause we just knew we’d known each other forever!

“Best Friend”….. “Friend”….. “Friendship”… what an absolute honor to feel Joe valued you highly enough to call you and regard you as such! Not one of us here tonight should feel anything less than privileged to be his friend and receive the gift of his friendship. “The gift of friendship”….. the GIFT…. I had never even heard that term before Joe put it into words in a card he sent me years ago. In that card, he wrote “Thank you for the gift of your friendship” – he THANKED me!! – for the gift of MY friendship! It was a gift that I gave freely and deeply from the heart all these years, and it was a gift I received in return from the one person who gave it to others better than anyone else… an example to us all!

Joe has left us all with so many memories….some are private, not to be shared with anyone else, and many to be shared publicly, usually full of giggles and laughter! Joe also – and more importantly - has left us to carry on what I personally believe should be his lasting legacy: giving and receiving the gift of friendship. It’s a legacy we need to keep alive and carry forward every day of our lives, not only as a tribute to Joe but as a tribute to each of those we all call a friend. A friendship to Joe was something he treasured above all else in his life. And usually with a measuring bar set high....sometimes too high for others and sometimes hard to measure up to! A lot of us here have been above and below the bar at various times, not always a pretty thing! Joe and I always had that in common – a belief that a friend is much, much more than just a friend. It’s a term so many can use so freely. We spent endless hours discussing our standards for friendships and pitying those that, at times, didn’t meet our standards… but usually ending up laughing that it was usually our fault, not really theirs!

In going forward from this moment on, I ask of each and every person in Joe’s life – those here, those who are not and wish they could be – to keep Joe’s legacy of friendship alive and honor it by devoting yourselves to your friends. Tell them you love them, as Joe always told us; treat them as family, as Joe always treated us. In our world today, friends ARE family, and family ARE friends. Support your friends with the type of support Joe gave so devotedly. Above all else, be a friend as you would want a friend to be to you. It is SO important, and so hard to find at times, but ultimately, it is a gift… to be given with love as any material gift is given, and to be received with gratitude as any material gift is received.

Joe lives on in each of us on a personal and individual basis. But, more importantly, Joe will continue to live on among us as a group of people he called “my friends”.

God bless you and I love you, my darling Joe!
Steve Snyder
October 12, 2001
Joe was a dear friend. He was a spectacular person with a huge heart. I'll miss you Joe, but will always carry you in my heart.
Don Medley
September 30, 2001
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