Hugh S. FERGUSON Hugh Sutherland Ferguson passed away March 21, 2011 at the age of 94 after a brief illness. Hugh was a true Seattle native and proud of it. Born August 15, 1916, to Ruth Schram Ferguson and George A. Ferguson in Seattle, he had deep roots in the Northwest. Ancestors include Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens and Seattle Business Pioneer John Schram. As a young girl, Hugh's mother Ruth witnessed the 1889 Seattle Fire. Hugh had fond memories of growing up on Capitol Hill with twin sister Ann and brother Jack. He graduated from Broadway High School where he lettered in golf - a lifelong passion. Summers were spent at Chevy Chase Inn on Discovery Bay where he developed a love for the outdoors - climbing the major peaks of the Olympics. Hugh attended the University of Washington (1936) where he affiliated with the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity (DKE) with whom he enjoyed a lifelong association. Life was an adventure for Hugh. Among the most formative was his 5 years of service as an officer in the US Army during WWII. He was stationed on Attu Island in the Aleutians and then Okinawa, where building airfields led to a 70-year construction career. In 1946, he married his beloved Jane Avery with whom he shared a 42-year partnership, enjoying a life of friends, family, and world travel. Together they took great joy in the establishment of their beautiful garden in Medina, a highlight of many garden tours, including 'Farmer Ferg's corn patch'. Their daughter Ellen was born in 1950, and as a close knit trio they shared a love of travel and nature, taking trips to distant lands and spending time at their cabin on Discovery Bay. One of Hugh's great legacies was the Ferguson Construction Co. Founded in 1948, the company specialized in commercial construction, including warehouses, industrial parks and shopping centers throughout the Northwest and Alaska. He pioneered the use of tilt-up concrete construction design. Hugh stayed close to the company after selling it in the early 1980's and is proud of its continued contribution to the community. Following his 'retirement,' Hugh took great pleasure continuing his pursuits in land development, building an excellent collection of Alaskan and Northwest art, and becoming more fully engaged in civic life. He loved his community and gave back in many ways. The Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation was established in 1987 as a vehicle for the family to enjoy supporting many organizations throughout the Northwest - particularly those related to stewardship of the natural environment and its cultural heritage. The Ferguson family received Philanthropy Northwest's 2005 Top Philanthropic Family Award. Hugh made friends wherever he went, and some of his dearest are from the organizations he funded, whose regular lunches helped keep him in 'the game'. Hugh had a special relationship with the Burke Museum, as a founding board member and enthusiastic participant in many field trips, including dinosaur hunting, archaeological digs, and sailing the Northwest Coast. Hugh loved the natural environment and was a true adventurer. From stocking trout in Cascade lakes in the 1930's, to annual fly fishing float trips in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, to participating in the first 'civilian' excursion to Antarctica in the 1970's, to a journey across the Sahara desert, he had an enormous curiosity about the world and enjoyment of the people he met along the way. In his late 80's he completed a goal - circumnavigating the North Pacific, visiting the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Aleutians, and the Alaskan Arctic. He was not just a traveler but a scholar of these parts of the world with a wonderful library to back this up. Hugh was the ultimate people person. He was a joiner and a doer. He was a founding member of Overlake Golf Course and enjoyed a million lunches at the Rainier Club, College Club, and Columbia Tower Club, to name a few. He is a long-time member of Seattle 4 Rotary Club. He thoroughly enjoyed 'cards' with his pals at Broadmoor Golf Club and Seattle Yacht Club in his later years. Many thanks to Hugh's team of Tara, Heidi, Jon, Ginny and Therese who enabled Hugh to continue enjoying his beautiful home and garden with his cat Scampi and to engage in work and community activities until his final days. Hugh's great zest for life, good humor, and gift of friendship will be sorely missed but warmly remembered. Hugh is preceded in death by his sister Ann Shoudy, brother Jack, and wife Jane. He is survived by daughter Ellen (Kumuda Kali), niece Janet Warford, grand-nieces and nephew Andy Meucci (Mike), John Warford (Liv), Tori Yapp (Bob) and their children, and nieces and nephews across the country. Remembrances to: Avery-Ferguson Endowment forExcellence, Burke Museum, Box 353010, UW, Seattle, WA 98195; or Seattle Public Library Foundation, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104; Tacoma Goodwill Industries, 714 S 27th, Tacoma, WA 98409; Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N 59th St, Seattle, WA 98103. A celebration of Hugh's life will be held in May. Look for later announcement. Online copy and guestbook: www.bonneywatson.com
Published by The Seattle Times on Mar. 27, 2011.