James A. H. Ferguson
James A.H. Ferguson of Marblehead, passed away peacefully with his family at his side, at The Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, on August 25th, 4 days after his 88th birthday. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, August 21st 1927, to James Telfer Ferguson & Emily Goodwin (Hamilton) Ferguson, both late of Glasgow Scotland. He was the loving husband of Nancy Diana (Brettell) Ferguson with whom he shared married life for 59 years and was the father of three daughters, Heather H. (Ferguson) Sampson, of Burlington Ma. Jenny Lynn DeJardin & Emma G. Larsen, both of Portland Oregon, and of a son Matthew H. Ferguson of Seattle Wa. His sister was the late Elaine Hamilton Wright of Aberdeen Scotland, his two nephews Paul & Gavin Wright of Maidstone Kent, England.
In 1945, at 17 yrs old, Jim qualified for the Visual Signalling Course for Radio Officers, which he became when he joined the British Merchant Navy later that year, first on board ships carrying benzene across the Atlantic. The mission, after the end of World War 2, was returning Allied Forces to their countries of origin, including Lagos, Africa, and Bombay, India. Following his 2 years at sea, he studied Electrical Engineering at Glasgow University, earned his BSc, and began life as an engineer. It was while on location in Brighton, England, that he met his wife. Following his career, which began with the British General Electric Company in Manchester England, as an electrical power engineer, the young couple set their sights on Canada, and subsequently Jim was first hired in the USA by Chrysler Automotive Engineering in Detroit, where the first subcompact cars were produced in 1959. Later, he was employed by Vertol, a division of Boeing in Philadelphia, this time on aircraft simulators.
The family returned to England in 1964, when Jim worked for British Aircraft in Weybridge Surrey; but America had won their hearts, and they relocated to St Charles Mo. in ’67, where Jim was employed by Conductron, working on helicopter simulators, before General Electric Company of Lynn, Ma. employed him on steam and gas turbine control systems. This was when the family moved to Marblehead in 1969, from where, later, Jim commuted to the Foxboro Company in Foxborough Ma. in instrumentation for several years.
Marblehead has been a wonderful home for the family for over forty years. A highlight in 1986, Jim was assigned to Seoul, South Korea for a year as a consultant, working in Hyundai offices there, on the Kukdong Oil Company, a refinery in Saosan. It was an opportunity for the couple to savor Asian culture, while the grown children took care of the Marblehead homestead. Later, he worked for Fluor Daniel in Greenville South Carolina, and briefly in Dallas Texas. But it was to Marblehead the couple returned in retirement.
Dearest to Jim was his immediate family, which now includes three sons-in-law, Thomas DeJardin, Daniel Larsen & Robert Sampson, four grandchildren, Cody & Devon DeJardin, Skye & Andrew Larsen.
The family is indebted to the wonderful caring staff at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Jim’s final hours, and to the Threshold Singers of Marblehead, who added their voices at this time too. Jim loved music, the music of Old North Church Marblehead, in particular, and, as a Glasgow University Alumni in America, enjoyed the Burns Night suppers and Scottish reels for several years, held at the Hampshire House in Boston on the Bards January birthday.
A Memorial Celebration will take place at the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead on Saturday October 10 at 11am.
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