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Date of Passing: Feb 26, 2013

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JAMES ROBERT FERGUSON August 19, 1925 - February 26, 2013 The family of James (Jim) Robert Ferguson is saddened to announce his peaceful passing on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at Third Crossing Manor in Gladstone, Manitoba. James Robert was born into a farming family on August 19, 1925 at the family home. He was the second son of Thomas and Violet (Power) Ferguson. Jim attended Ayr school (Mekiwin), Preston School, and high school in Gladstone where he boarded with his Aunt Verta and Uncle Fred. Through mutual friends and district dances, Jim met June Collins and they were married on October 2, 1946 at the Gladstone United Church. Jim and June farmed in Helston and raised their family of Robert, Errol, Craig and Gwen. After the death of June's sister Gwen in 1959, Gwen's children Scott and Laurynne came to be a part of their family. Jim began his farming career in the 1940s with his brother Lawrence. With his strong work ethic, he was up with the sun and often worked late into the evening. In 1957, Jim started his own mixed farming operation. He took great pride in his farm especially with the progress and improvements that he was able to achieve with the help of his family and employees. His grandfather had homesteaded SW18-14-12 in 1871 and in 1982, the Manitoba Historical Society presented to the family a plaque honouring their 110 continuous years of farming. Jim was so proud of being a farmer and being part of a legacy that has recently entered into its sixth generation with the birth of his great-grandsons. Civic engagement was also very important to Jim. He contributed his abilities and expertise to his local district and community. He was one of the founding members of the Gladstone Auction Mart, President of the Helston and Gladstone Curling Clubs, a trustee of Preston School, and President of the Gladstone Provincial Progressive Conservative Association. In 1969, Jim was elected to the Manitoba Legislature as the MLA for the Gladstone constituency. He enjoyed these years and was always pleased to be able to help his constituents. He was a member of the Conservative caucus under the leadership of Walter Weir, Sterling Lyon, Sid Spivak, and Gary Filmon. Jim was Conservative Party Whip as well as Legislative Assistant with Agriculture minister Jim Downey. He retired from politics in 1981 but took with him many memories and lifelong friendships. After the death of his son Errol in 1982, Jim returned to farming but remained interested in political issues. As a result he began to work as a director with the Farm Debt Review Board to assist farm families facing financial problems or farm closures. Jim took tremendous pride in his home, farm, garden and family. He loved nothing more than having his friends and family stop in for a visit (usually in his shop). As he reduced his role in the day-to-day farming operations, he increased his other hobby - gardening. It was not unusual to find him toiling away on a hot summer afternoon. His garden expansion also succeeded due to the high number of grandchildren he coerced into helping him. With his retirement, Jim and June enjoyed traveling to Texas for several months for a number of years. While there he indulged in playing golf, swimming, socializing and more gardening. Fiercely competitive, Jim and June enjoyed playing many games of bridge with family, neighbours and friends. He loved to end his day by going for a drive with June to look at the crops or cows. In October 2012, Jim was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. Jim was a keen sportsman; he enjoyed hockey, curling, baseball and in his later years, golf. He enjoyed golfing and the camaraderie that he shared with his golf buddies in Gladstone and in Texas. Jim was an avid hunter, especially deer, moose, elk, ducks, geese, and prairie chickens. He also loved to fish and enjoyed many fishing trips with family and friends. In 2009, after 84 years of living on the family farm, Jim made the move with June to the Gladstone Legion Apartments. They enjoyed their time there but after June's death, Jim's health condition required a move to Third Crossing Manor. While dementia gradually overtook his abilities, his trademark mannerisms, wit and charm were sometimes able to shine through. His family would like to thank the staff at Third Crossing Manor for their compassionate care and are grateful for the friends and relatives that were able to visit him. Jim was predeceased by his wife June (2011); parents Thomas and Violet; parents-in-law George and Mildred Collins; brothers Lawrence and Doug; sisters-in-law Gwen, Eileen and Vivian; son Errol and son-in-law Dennis. He is survived by sons Robert (Yvonne) and Craig (Karen); daughter Gwen McCaskill; Scott (Joy) Ferguson, Laurynne Ferguson, Valerie (Richard) Emerson; Monique Dufresne, Greg Emerson. He will be remembered by his grandchildren Tammy (Todd) Ballingall, Leita (Ray) Piché, Travis (Janie) Ferguson, Brad (Jen) Ferguson, Scott (Tasha) Emerson, Myles Hodgson, Arron Hodgson, Candice (Brent) Little, Michelle (Jeff) Gherasim, Lynn (Joel) Ferguson, Mark (Stacey) Ferguson, Kristyn (Chad) Ferguson, Adam McCaskill, and Kathryn (Chad) McCaskill; great-grandchildren Tyler, Clayton, Kara and Hannah Ferguson, Owen and Alex Ferguson, Kallie and Harper MacDonald, Sean and Nicholas Piché, Elizabeth, Emilie and Elise Little, Mackenzie Gherasim. He also leaves his sisters-in-law Liz Ferguson and Georgina Ferguson; brother-in-law Don Collins as well as many nieces, nephews and other extended family members. A Celebration of Jim's Life was held Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Gladstone United Church with Lynne Sanderson officiating. Interment took place prior to the Service at the Mekiwin Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Seven Regions Health Foundation Inc., Traverse Lift, Box 1000, Gladstone, MB R0J 0T0. Clarke's Funeral Home, Gladstone in care of arrangements.
Publish Date: Mar 9, 2013

JAMES ROBERT FERGUSON James Robert Ferguson passed away on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at Third Crossing Manor, Gladstone, MB at the age of 87 years. A Celebration of Jim's Life will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Gladstone United Church with Lynne Sanderson officiating. Interment will take place prior to the Service at the Mekewin Cemetery at 1:00 p.m. If friends so desire, memorial donations may be made to the Seven Regions Health Foundation, to go towards a Traverse Lift, Box 1000, Gladstone, MB R0J 0T0. Clarke's Funeral Home, Gladstone in care of arrangements.
Publish Date: Feb 28, 2013

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Mar 09, 2013

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • It is with profund sadness that I express my sympathy for the loss of your dad. both your mom and dad were such special people in our lives-we have many special Gladstone memories that will be forever cherished, from the Alice McInnes Family - Posted by: alice () on: Mar 21, 2013

  • Our deepest sympathies go to the Ferguson family on the passing of Jim. He was a repected and well-known man who devoted his life to his family, province and community. - Posted by: John and Randy Oslund () on: Mar 02, 2013

  • I am saddened to hear of Jim's passing. I have always had the utmost respect for him. Jim was one of my father, Dave Blake's, best friends. They shared a love of & commitment to family ,community and the land we live in. They both made this world a better place. RIP Mr. Ferguson!! From the Blake Family - Posted by: Naomi Blake Marshall (Family Friend) on: Mar 02, 2013

  • It wae a privilege to serve in the legislature with Jim and to witness,especially in caucus meetings,the passion with which Jim reresented his constituency and rural Manitoba interests.I learned a great deal from him.He was an honourable man. - Posted by: Gerry Mercier (P.C.M.L.A.{77T0 88}) on: Mar 01, 2013

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