Winnie J. F. Ferguson
Winnie Jean Flanegan Ferguson
Winnie Jean Flanegan Ferguson died at Rex Hospital in Raleigh, NC on June 16, 2012 surrounded by her family.
Although she had been diagnosed with lung cancer, she was a life-long non-smoker. She had been responding well to treatment and her family was surprised by her sudden decline and death.
She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Joseph M. Ferguson, Sr., her son and daughter-in-law, Warren D. Ferguson and Nancy Francis of Cary, NC, and her daughter and son-in-law, Sheridan J. Ferguson Edmondson and W. Robert Edmondson, of Sewickley, PA. She is also survived by seven grandchildren, Renee, Nathan, Sharlene, Sean, and Julia Ferguson, Alexander and Tyler Edmondson, and three step-grandchildren, Kelani and Adam Edmondson, and Nonie Gandhi. Her brother John Flanegan and sister Mary Finch of Sigourney, Iowa also mourn her loss, as do numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her son J. Martin Ferguson, Jr.
Winnie was born in Sigourney, Iowa on May 19, 1933, the daughter of Samuel Dwight Flanegan and Flora Mae Kleinschmidt. Winnie graduated from Sigourney High School in 1952 and attended Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. She later earned a Bachelor's in Art Education at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, where she also earned a Master's in Art Education and a Master's in Art Therapy. She served as the first executive director of Very Special Arts Ohio, using the arts to enrich the lives of developmentally challenged people. In 1991, she earned a Ph.D. from Union Institute in Art Therapy and then joined the faculty at Wright State University. Through the course of her career she taught art at Spinning Hills Jr. High School and Stebbins High School in Dayton, Ohio. She also taught both art education classes and art therapy classes at Wright State University.
Winnie had a passion for art and was driven to instill that same love in her students. She continued teaching art even after her retirement from Wright State, mentoring many artists in group classes in the open studio program at the Cary Senior Center, and teaching several private students in her home studio. She was especially proud when students would find their own strength and style. Winnie was a founding member of the Cary Gallery of Artists where she served as president, and where her work will be on exhibit through August. She served as both president and board member for the Fine Arts League of Cary, and as a board member for Friends of Page Walker. Winnie also loved the performing arts and was a strong supporter of live musical and theater performances, particularly those including her family members.
Her first loves were fiber art, jewelery and pottery, and she later worked extensively in acrylics and oils. In honor of Winnie's love of color and texture, she requested that those attending her memorial service wear bright colors.
She loved to teach, paint, cook, garden, and spend time with the people she loved. She applied herself in a masterful manner to all she did. She was a woman full of life and plans and energy, and leaves behind an enormous hole in the lives of those who love her.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, July 1, 2012 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh ( at 3:00 PM with a reception following. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Fellowship in her honor.

Published by The News & Observer from Jun. 27 to Jul. 1, 2012.
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14 Entries
Dear Winnie did not believe in hiding one's light. Fortunately for us, she freely shared her own light, talents and wisdom with her friends, family, and community, and we are all the richer for it. She had vision-and the courage, perserverance and fortitude to bring vision into reality. Winnie was passionate-she truly cared, and thus has left an indelible mark in our midst. Her light will burn brightly in our community and our hearts for a long time to come. Winnie will be dearly missed by myself and many, many others.
Sincerest condolences go out to all of Winnie's family at this most difficult time.
Diane Starbling
June 30, 2012
Our sympathy goes out to Winnie's family for their
Great loss. She will always be remembered by all
Of us for her vitality. Love of life and art and her
concern for everyone around her. She will shine
always in our hearts. Betty & Bill Luther
June 30, 2012
Winnie will be missed by all at the Cary Senior Center. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
Kristine Werlau
June 29, 2012
Winnie, I could always count on you to show up en pleinair whenever PAINT NC planned an event. Miss you.
Ann Hair
June 29, 2012
Your promotion of the Arts here in Cary will be a memorial to your love of Art. You are greatly missed. Sending condolences and sympathy to your family especially Joe.
Ella Williams
June 29, 2012
Our family has been forever changed by this amazing woman. She will live on and on in the artwork that graces our home - by the skills and love of art that she has instilled in our daughter.
We will miss you, Winnie.
Lori Bush
June 27, 2012
Winnie's dedication and vitality became evident when she was elected President of The Fine Arts League of Cary. As Program Chair under her tenure, I came to know her better as a person, and artist. Her presence will be missed in the arts community.
Carol Ormsby Baxter
June 27, 2012
Winnie was my mentor and friend. She helped me become more creative. She was a very special lady.
Nancy Sonnhalter
June 27, 2012
Words for Winne;
Primary founder of CGA
Dedicated to family, friends, the Town of Cary, church, Cary Gallery of Artists and the art world in general.
She seemed to utilize every minute of every day.
High energy
Great artist, her colors and forms reflect her energy and love of life.
Innovative and resourceful
I will miss her wise and wonderful soul.
Jean Cheely
June 27, 2012
Winnie's presence at Cary Gallery will be missed for a long, long time. She worked tirelessly for its success, and was successful. Personally, I am so glad I got to know her as a friend this last year, and enjoyed her warmth, depth, and wit. She exemplified personal strength and positive attitude.
Susan Luster
June 27, 2012
Winnie, open studio will not be the same without you, but we will continue to paint there as we know this is what you'd want us to do.
You've been a dear friend and we will miss you and your colorful personality.
Fay Beebe, Cary, NC
June 27, 2012
Winnie was my special art teacher at the Cary Senior Center. My paintings and I will miss her.
Jeanne Joslin
June 27, 2012
Winnie is an excellent example for living a full, meaningful life.
Phyllis Andrews
June 27, 2012
Winnie's bright and colorful paintings will be greatly missed from the Cary Gallery of Artists and her mentoring and encouragement from the Cary Senior Center. She's left a wonderful legacy of the love of art.
Sarah Sheffield
June 27, 2012
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