George Frederick Ferguson

With great sadness we announce that George Frederick Ferguson passed into the presence of the Lord on the evening of March 07, 2017, at the age of 91. He died peacefully at his home on his farm on Sumas Prairie where he had lived for more than eighty years. He was surrounded by his loving wife Ria, his niece Andrea, his physician and close friends. George lived his life to the fullest and always loved what he was doing. During retirement years he enjoyed working on his farm, travelling to Europe and visiting his family in Ireland and Germany. His unconditional love, his wisdom and charisma, his humour and dedication will be greatly missed by his friends and most of all by his wife Ria, his eleven children: Karen (Bill), Vicki, George (Shirley), Lesley (Doug), Gerri (Bill), Diane (Dean), Maureen (Bruce), Barbra (Ken), Janice (James), Catherine and Gordon (Angela), his seventeen grandchildren: Janet, Melanie, Trevor (Trish), Shannon, Kristi, Carlie (Barry), Erin, Amie, Mark, Wade (Jodi), Rebecca (Josh), Meghan (Booker), Landon (Rochelle), Christopher (Cathy), Elizabeth, Pauline, Riona, his 24 great-grandchildren: Alexa, Owen, Sebastian, Anna, Ryan, Naomi, Skylah, Sage, Carter, Chase, Cruz, Zoe, Ava, Luc, Max, Julia, Madox, Kalen, Paxton, Noah, Ethan, Isaac, Ryder, Isla, sisters-in-law: Jessie, Anni, Marlene and Christel, brother-in-law Walter, seven nieces and nephews from Germany, ten nephews and nieces in California and relatives from Ireland. George was pre-deceased by his parents George (Fred) and Ida Susan Mary, his first wife Betty, his sister Gracie, his brothers-in-law Gerald and Homer, sisters-in-law Marg and Cilly. George was born in Vancouver July 5, 1925. He attended Upper Sumas School, graduated from Philip Sheffield High School in 1944. Following graduation, he joined the Canadian Army, volunteering to serve in the Pacific. The Fergusons established one of Abbotsford’s first dairy farms. George bought the farm on Campbell Road on Sumas Prairie from his parents in 1959 and lived there continuously until his death. In the early 1960s George became Chairman of Parks for the District of Sumas and in 1969 was elected as an Alderman for the District. After serving only one term, he ran for the office of mayor and was successful. In 1972, the Village of Abbotsford and the District of Sumas amalgamated and formed the District of Abbotsford — George Ferguson was elected Mayor. George was the only Mayor to serve the District of Abbotsford from 1972 until its amalgamation with the District of Matsqui on January 1, 1995. He was elected the first Mayor of the City of Abbotsford on November 26, 1994 and served in this capacity until 2002 and from 2005 to 2008 having completed 36 years in public service. He served as:

• Chairman of the Abbotsford Police Board

• Chairman of the Fraser Valley Regional Hospital District

• Director of the Fraser Valley Regional District

• Director of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (Parks)

• Vice Chairman of the Abbotsford-Mission Water & Sewer Commission

• Board Member of the Abbotsford Airport Authority George also chaired many other committees. During his career he held many positions in official office including:

• President Federation of Canadian Municipalities

• President Union of BC Municipalities

• Chairman MSA Hospital Board

• Chairman Fraser Valley Regional Hospital Board

• Director Fraser Basin Council

• Honorary Treasurer Fraser Valley Regional Library

• Chairman Public Employers Union of BC

• Director Matsqui- Abbotsford Foundation Society

• Director Vancouver Coast & Mountain Tourism Board

• Chairman Abbotsford- Matsqui Transit Service

• Chairman Lower Mainland Transit Service

• Chairman Fraser Valley Regional Water Commission

• Chairman of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

• He was a proud recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding service to the community, as well of the Order of Abbotsford and Citizen of the Year in 2011.

Honorary Member of many local service clubs, including:

• Abbotsford Rotary Club (Paul Harris Fellow)

• Abbotsford Lions

• Abbotsford Eagles

We thank his long-time friend and former physician retired Dr. John Pawlovich, his cardiologist Dr. Naser Sayeh for his competent medical treatment and his warm-hearted support, doctors, nurses and staff at ARHCC, as well as all who helped at home for the loving care extended to George. Very special thanks to George’s GP Dr. Jonathan Burns for exceptional care, which made it possible for us to fulfill George’s wish to die at home. His competent medical treatment provided George with a peaceful passing. Thanks to his niece and medical doctor Dr. Andrea Michels, who travelled twice from Germany during the last two month to assist with the medical help and support. A heartfelt thank you to our friends Mandy and Phil, who were always there for George, even at the night of his passing. Special recognition to George and Ria’s friends and neighbours for their love and support during this difficult time. An Anglican Church of Canada Funeral Service will be held: Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 11:00 am Tradex Centre, 1190 Cornell Street, followed by a reception. Graveside service: Musselwhite Cemetery at 3:00 pm. All are welcome to attend both the funeral service at Tradex Centre and the graveside service at Musselwhite Cemetery. Limited return bus transportation to the cemetery will be available. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to:

• Abbotsford Food Bank, online donations:

• Heart and Stroke Foundation, British Columbia and Yukon

• BC Cancer Foundation

• Canadian Red Cross


• or a charity of your choice.

Tributes and condolences may be left at:

Henderson’s Funeral Home ~ 604-854-5534

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