WARREN JAMES FERGUSON

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WARREN JAMES FERGUSON Aug. 29, 1923 Jan. 16, 2017 An eventful life Warren Ferguson, son of James and Elspeth Ferguson, was born in Seattle Washington. He was an unexpected 'bonus baby' to the delight of his sisters Lois, Marion and Ruth, aged 16 through 19. Warren grew up in Seattle as the Great Depression gripped the country and during high school worked summers in the Wenat-chee apple orchards to help support his family. After working two years for Pacific Bell as a telephone technician, Warren enrolled at the University of Washington's College of Engineering. In November of 1943 his education was interrupted by World War II when he enlisted in the Army. Warren underwent basic training at Fort Lewis and was placed in the Army Signal Corps. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in October 1944 and shipped overseas to Europe, where he was assigned to the 3167th Army Signal Service Battalion. His unit was involved in the installation and operation of critically needed communication equipment for the 1st Armored and the 101st Airborne Divisions at Bastogne, France. There he was involved in intense combat during the "Battle of the Bulge", when his Signal Corps platoon was pressed into combat on the front lines helping to resist the surprise German advance during the famous siege of Bastogne. After the end of the war Warren returned to the University of Washington and resumed his electrical engineering studies. One of the stories he loved to tell was of meeting his future wife, Fern while he was walking a picket line as a striking telephone repairman. Fern was a supervisor and in management, but somehow romance prevailed, and nuptials soon followed. Following marriage to Fern, Warren worked as a test engineer for the General Electric Company in Schenectady, New York. In 1953 he transferred to the Hanford Atomic Works at Richland, Washington, where he progressed to the position of division manager of the Hanford N Reactor Project. The N Reactor not only produced plutonium for America's defense program, but it also generated electricity. It was the only reactor of its kind in the country. In 1967 Warren, Fern and their two sons moved to Connecticut where he took the job of general manager of United Nuclear Corporation's Nuclear Naval Products Division. For the next six years he worked to supply nuclear fuel cores to Admiral Hyman Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy and reputedly one of the most demanding and exacting officers in the military. Warren and Fern returned to Seattle in 1972 where Warren worked as the Vice President of Puget Power and eventually as the CEO of Northwest Energy Services. In 1985 Warren retired at age 62 and began another extremely active period of his life, remodeling several homes, developing a ranch in Talent, Oregon, and pursuing his hobbies of fishing, hunting and backcountry horse packing. Warren and Fern joined the Mary's Woods retirement community in Lake Oswego in 2003. Warren was very active in the Mary's Woods community for the next decade, singing in the choir and as a member of the musical theatre group. Warren's beloved wife Fern died in 2012. Two years later Warren married Mildred Snyder, a fellow resident in the assisted living center. Thus began another chapter of love and life at age 90! Whew! Warren is survived by his wife of three years, Mildred Snyder; his sons, Scott and William; and three grandchildren, Abigail, Devin and Sarah. His ashes will be intered at Willamette National Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 11th in the auditorium at Mary's Woods, 17,400 Holy Names Drive, Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Published in Tri-City Herald on Feb. 5, 2017
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