May 23, 1936 - March 27, 2018
William “Bill” Henry Ferguson, 81, of Medford, Oregon, passed away March 27, 2018, surrounded by family and loved ones. Bill was a practicing attorney in Grants Pass and Medford for over 50 years.
Bill was born May 23, 1936 in North Bend, Oregon to Henry and Grace (Beebe) Ferguson. Bill was an avid hunter, world traveler, car guy, developer, and enchanting storyteller. Bill had many close and loving relationships with many people from all walks of life. He was raised in Coos Bay and attended Marshfield High School, graduating in 1954. He furthered his education at the University of Oregon, obtaining his bachelor's degree in Economics in 1958 and his law degree in 1961. Despite having three children at home, and one on the way, Bill managed to graduate law school as the second in his class.
Bill began his legal career in Grants Pass as an assistant Josephine County District Attorney under then District Attorney, Lawrence Aschenbrenner. During the middle 1960s, Bill volunteered to join Lawrence Ashenbrenner, who had become the head of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights in Jackson, Mississippi, for a month, representing the interests of African-American clients who were the subject of civil rights violations. In the late 1960s, Bill moved his office to Medford, and eventually formed a law partnership with Robert Grant and William Carter.
Bill married his wife Reni in 1979 and had two more children. Bill was an accomplished natural athlete, a member of the football, basketball, baseball and track teams while in Marshfield High School, and in his adult years remained active and accomplished in the areas of golf, handball, downhill skiing, and softball. He loved riding his ATV on the dunes in Coos Bay, and did so throughout his life, always sharing the experience with family members of all ages. He was a former president of the Rogue Valley Country Club. He was also an active hunter and the former president of the Oregon Hunter's Association. Bill and Reni also traveled extensively all over the world.
Bill is remembered by his friends and family as an extremely optimistic, good-natured, caring individual, whose fertile intellect was constantly involved in some project or pastime for fun or profit, usually with friends or family. Bill was larger than life. Though we all knew this day would come, we were not prepared for it to come as soon as it did because he always had a way of getting out of trouble and simply seemed to be eternal. It is with great sadness and broken hearts that his friends and family must say goodbye.
Bill is survived by his wife, Reni; his six children, Debra Ferguson Swandal of Wilsall, Montana, Joel Ferguson of Medford, Dan Ferguson of Medford, Martina Hazen of Kingston, Washington, Kendell Ferguson of Medford, and Keanon Ferguson of Medford; his six grandchildren, Melia Hayes, Andra Cooper, Rebecca Swandal, Derrick Ferguson, Berit (“Critter”) Schulzke, and William (“Billy B.”) Schulzke; eight great-grandchildren; his sister, Joan Nelson; half-sister, Trudie Tracy; and step-sister Dana Biddington. He was predeceased by his parents and his grandsons, Nels Swandal and Austin Swandal. We all love him and miss him very much. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.