Obituary for Howard Taft "Howie" Ferguson Jr.
Howard “Howie” Taft Ferguson, Jr, passed July 1, 2017 surrounded by loved ones following a long stubborn battle against following medical advice and a love affair with Pall Mall. He joins his parents, the late Agnes L. Carpenter and Howard T. Ferguson, Sr. He leaves behind his only child, Dr. Sarah Dawn Cavanaugh Ferguson, Psy.D. and grandson, Trav Declan Michael Ferguson. His best friend and life partner, Patricia Bacon of Brookfield. His sister, Donna Brown of North Brookfield, his brother Richard “Dick” Ferguson of North Brookfield, and a large extended family.
He was born and raised in Charlton, Massachusetts before becoming a resident of the Brookfield’s. During his youth he worked for Tony’s Garage and Mobile Station and raced the #67 Ford Fairlane he customized himself. After attending Charlton Public Schools he enlisted in the Navy in 1962. He served as a Boatswain Mate, E-6, 3rd Class until 1964. He returned to Charlton where he was an initiator of the First Emergency Responders in Charlton. He moved to North Brookfield in 1968 and by 1979 became a Selectman and Chairperson of the board. He was a part-time police officer beginning in 1982 and was active with the Democratic Town Committee serving as the Chairman. It was in this capacity that Howie volunteered on a number of political campaigns; locally and nationally. He was recognized on numerous occasions for his contributions and tireless efforts on behalf of the principles and values of his political affiliation; equality, compassion, and social justice.
Howie worked at Norton Company throughout his adult life in many capacities, including management and quality control. He was instrumental in organizing the Grassroots BTR resistance. He retired in 2001 as an Engineer. He also assisted the Browns with the training and care of their Standardbred horses at the Spencer Fairgrounds Stable. In his retirement he was the first manager for Howe’s Farm Market in Rutland; instrumental in its creation and growth. In this capacity he was a mentor to those who worked for him. As an employee and supervisor he was known for his practical jokes, kindness, fairness, and strong work ethic.
Howie was a member of the American Legion and most proud to be a Brother in the Freemason tradition. He became a member of the then Meriden Sun Lodge in North Brookfield in 1973 and remained a member of the Mason Hayden Lodge. He was an avid hunter and a fisherman who respected and marveled the world that surrounded him. He made many friends on his numerous hunting trips. He lent his support to many wildlife and conservation efforts.
In his later years he continued to enjoy deer spotting adventures; never missing these evening rides with Pat. He was a devoted grandfather, attended all of his grandson’s sporting games and events. He was devoted to his family, generous with his time and wisdom. He will be greatly missed by those who loved him; laughed with him, benefactors of his guidance, and warmed by his affection. For those whose life he touched directly, and indirectly, we are grateful that he lived among us.
A graveside service will be held on July 22, 2017 at 10:00AM in Union Cemetery at the corner of Rte 20 and Rte 169 in Charlton followed by a memorial gathering at The Union Chapel at Podunk, 750 Podunk Road, East Brookfield from 11am - 1pm. Memorial contributions may be made to Development Office Shriners Hospitals for Children — Springfield, 516 Carew St. Springfield, MA 01104. Pillsbury Funeral Home 44 Gilbert St. North Brookfield is assisting the family with arrangements. To leave condolence for the family, please visit: Pillsburyfuneralhome.com