In Loving Memory

Joseph G. Ferguson, Sr., d. October 21, 2018



In Loving Memory
May 26, 1921 – October 21, 2018

Joseph Gantt Ferguson, Sr., age 97, peacefully passed from life to life at his home in Pt. Clear on Sunday, October 21, 2018.  He was born May 26, 1921 in Charleston, West Virginia and was raised in Richmond, VA.  In 1942, upon receiving a degree in Chemical Engineering from Clemson, he served as LT CMDR in the U. S. Navy, in the Pacific, during WWII.  After the war, he returned to South Carolina and began his lifelong career with International Paper.  In 1948 he married Margaret Cecile Whaley of Rockville, SC.  His job later led them to Mobile where he was the Director of Research at International Paper’s Erling Riis Research Lab, until his retirement.  He was an active member of the community, Fairhope Yacht Club, a mystic society, several charitable and professional organizations, and a faithful member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where he served in many capacities including terms on the Vestry during the construction of the “Big Church”.  He was a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Paul’s Episcopal School.  He enjoyed sailing on “Waltzing Matilda” and summer vacations with his family at Pawley’s Island, SC.  In 1984 he married Sarah B. Jernigan. After his retirement he moved to Pt. Clear, AL and later became a member of St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Robertsdale, AL.   

Joe was predeceased by his wife, Margaret Whaley Ferguson; his parents, Ernest Pendleton Ferguson and Evelyn Gantt Ferguson; and his brothers, Ernest Ferguson, Jr. and Richard Ferguson.  He is survived by his son, Joseph Gantt Ferguson, Jr. (Brenda), his grandchildren, Margaret Ferguson and Joseph Ferguson III, his wife of 34 years, Sarah B. Jernigan Ferguson; her children, Cynthia Jernigan Menfi, Cathy Jernigan McGraw, Dennis G. Jernigan (Tammy), Michael D. Jernigan; nieces and nephews, whom he loved dearly. 

A memorial service will be held on Friday, November 2, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Robertsdale, AL.  The family will receive friends at 10:00 am.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 4051 Old Shell Road, Mobile, AL  36608; St. Paul’s Episcopal School, 161 Dogwood Lane, Mobile, AL 36608; St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, 22764 Hwy 59, Robertsdale, AL 36567 or to your favorite charity.

Online condolences for the family may be made at



  1. Lisa and Bill McDonoughl

    Joe and Brenda. Lisa and I are sad to receive this news. A good man and a good life. But a hole in your hearts that cannot be replaced. Our every thought and prayer are with you.

  2. Andrea and Bob Wilson

    Joe, Brenda, Maggie and Joey…Bobby and I are so sad to read of the passing of Joe’s father this morning. We know of his place in your hearts and are sad for your loss. However, we have to focus on the spiritual and know he is now one of God’s wonderful additions to the Bay of angels, perhaps sailing a few of his buddies on a beautiful sea with a harbor full of onlookers with his arrival. May you all find peace in this transition of life. We love you all.

  3. Carol Boyle

    Sarah, I was so very sad to hear about your husband. You and Joe were always so dear to me. Hang in there. I can imagine the whole that you have in your heart. After 30+ years it will be a major adjustment not having him around.



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