Ferguson, Donald A.
Ferguson, Donald A.
December 22, 1937 — June 8, 2019
Donald Allen Ferguson, age 81, passed away Saturday, June 8, in his new home at Armour Oaks, surrounded by family. Don was born in Kansas City, Missouri on December 22, 1937 to Arthur and Margaret (Kaminsky) Ferguson. Even as a young child, he loved to garden. During a bout of Rheumatic Fever which kept him sidelined from school for a couple of years he learned to grow African Violets and was one of the youngest participants in garden shows. After a full recovery, he joined the Boy Scouts and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Don graduated from Westport High School in 1958. He married Frances Neal on September 5, 1959, and they were looking forward to their 60th anniversary this year. Don and Fran have two children, Dale and Karen.
Don became a skilled lithographer by trade until his retirement in 2003. He ran both large and small presses including limited print runs for local artists. Don took a creative interest in this world. There was nothing he couldn’t do. Both he and Frances loved gardening and food. While the kids were growing up they had an extensive vegetable garden and canned many jars of green beans, tomatoes and watermelon pickles. He decided to try his hand at winemaking and planted his own grapes and made a wine press. His love of BBQ led him to build a brick smoke oven in 1973 where he made some of the best smoked chicken in Kansas City. In 1970 Don and Fran were featured in a Kansas City Star article for their food and winemaking.
Not content to just eat and drink, he took up photography and built a darkroom at his residence. He designed and built a screened porch and patio. When the house needed foundation work, he hand dug a trench and put in a piering system that he designed. Later on he hand dug a Koi pond and waterfall. During a trip to Disney World with a grandchild he saw a garden railroad. This intrigued him and he then created and installed a garden railroad in the backyard complete with trains, landscaping, miniature trees and to-scale hand made buildings. Don and Fran loved coming up with clever names for the buildings (Delilah’s Barbershop, Last Supper Diner).
Don and Fran loved sharing their home and food. They hosted many Thanksgiving and other family holidays. He was always coming up with some kind of fun activity for the nieces and nephews and kids at the gatherings. He made a monorail that ran through the back yard. One summer he sewed printing press blankets together to make a water slide. Sometimes, it was just a game of basketball. They were on the national Water Garden Society tour three times sharing their gardens with hundreds of visitors. They were also members of the North East Garden Railroad society and shared their garden with those interested in trains.
Upon his retirement, Don and Fran donated thousands of volunteer hours to the residents of Kingswood Retirement Center and to Union Station where they made many new friends.
Don leaves behind his loving wife of 59 years, Frances Ann Ferguson, his son Dale (spouse Lois Bakely Ferguson), daughter Karen and grandsons, Joel and Seth Ferguson. In addition, he leaves behind his brothers John Ferguson of Florida, Bill Ferguson of Kansas City, Kansas and his sister Ann Marie Wilson of Toronto, Canada. He was preceded in death by his parents Arthur Ferguson and Margaret (Kaminsky) Ferguson.
Visitation will be held Thursday, June 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Park Lawn Funeral Home, 8251 Hillcrest Road, Kansas City, MO. The funeral service will be held Friday, June 14, at 1 p.m. at the same location. Interment at the adjoining Memorial Park Cemetery will follow directly after the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cross-Lines Community Outreach.
The family would also like to thank the dedicated and caring staff of Ascend Hospice.
Visitation will be 6-8PM, Thursday, June 13, with service 1PM, Friday, June 14, both at Park Lawn Funeral Home, 8251 Hillcrest Rd.; burial in Memorial Park Cemetery.