- 79 years old
- Date of birth: Aug 6, 1937
- Place of birth:
- Date of passing: Oct 27, 2016
- Place of passing:
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
|Let the rich and colorful tapestry that Mary created with her life live on forever in the legacy of her family,in all whose lives she touched, and in the magic she brought to everyday moments.|
This memorial website was created in memory of our beloved mother, Mary Ferguson, 79, born on August 6, 1937 and passed away on October 27th, 2016. We will remember her forever.
Mary Margaret Tally Ferguson, of Woodward, Oklahoma, died peacefully on October 27th, 2016 at the age of 79 in the Integris Baptist Hospital, Oklahoma City, with her daughter, Elizabeth, by her side.
Mary was born on August 6th, 1937 in Manila, Philippine Islands, to Fred and Margaret Tally, while her father was stationed there as a Captain in the army. Following his army transfers, in 1939 the family moved to Palo Alto, California and then to Salt Lake City in 1940. In October of 1941, Lt. Colonel Fred Tally received orders to return to the Philippines. Mary then moved with her mother and younger sister Cynthia, to Fredericksburg, Texas, her mother’s home.
Mary enjoyed sharing with family and friends many treasured memories of her time in Fredericksburg, including presenting the key to the city of Fredericksburg to Admiral Chester Nimitz, playing the role of the Easter Bunny in the annual Fredericksburg Easter Fires pageant, and winning the American Medical Association’s county prize for best essay.
Mary attended Hockaday School in Dallas beginning in the Tenth Grade. At school she was awarded the Courtesy Cap, and took leadership roles including serving as Vice President of House Council, Chairman of the Community Service Committee and Chairman of the Vespers program. Mary received a BA in English at Hollins College in 1959. During her time at Hollins, Mary spent a year abroad, based in Paris, where she studied at the Sorbonne and the British Institute of Travels.
In June of 1959 Mary started working at the United Nations Secretariat in New York City as a secretary in the executive office of general services. Mary loved to talk about witnessing first hand Nikita Khrushchev’s shoe-banging incident which occurred during the United Nations General Assembly meeting held in New York in 1960.
Mary met Mead Ferguson while living in New York City. They were married there on November 25th, 1960 at Saint Thomas Episcopal Church. They shared 56 years of marriage, family, friendships, travels and adventures. Mead passed away exactly six weeks before Mary.
Following Mead’s career, Mary and Mead moved to Houston in 1961, and the growing family moved back to New York City in 1964 where they remained until 1968. During this time Mary juggled mothering her three children while serving in several volunteer organizations, including the Institute of International Education and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and in the Junior League in New York City.
In 1968 the family moved to London, England, where they would spend the next 11 years. Mead’s job as an oil executive involved a frequent amount of travel away from home, leaving Mary to manage home and children alone. She lived a rich life volunteering at her children’s schools, serving as Cub Scout Den leader, taking culinary classes at Le Cordon Bleu, serving in the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service, and planning memorable family trips throughout Europe.
In 1980 the family moved to Woodward Oklahoma where Mary and Mead remained for the next 36 years. Mary became a lively member of the Woodward community very quickly.
She was an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church where she served on the Vestry, and was Senior Warden in 1995 and 1996. Mary also participated at the First Presbyterian Church where she was active with the Presbyterian Women, and led several Bible Study classes. She was a member of the Gamma Club and of the philanthropic organization, P.E.O., which provides scholarships to women. She was passionate about the Arts, and was an active supporter of the Literacy Council, the Woodward Arts Theater and the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum.
Mary was compassionate, generous, kind, and an exceptionally friendly person. The same sweet disposition that won her the Courtesy Cap at Hockaday School endeared her to all she met throughout her life and travels. She had a way of making everyone feel comfortable in her presence. Mary created a rich and colorful tapestry with her life in the friendships that she formed, the outreach she gave to others, the traditions she instilled in her family, and in all the little things she did that made special days magical and beautiful.
Mary is survived by her three children, Elizabeth, Tally and Christopher and their spouses James Stoeffel, Noreen Casey and Christina Ferguson. She leaves behind five grandchildren: Price and Christopher Stoeffel, Casey and Mikey Ferguson and Nicola Ferguson, and her sister Cynthia Charlotte McDonald. She was preceded in death by her husband Mead Ferguson, and by her parents Lt. Col. Fred Tally and Margaret Fricke.
Mary will be missed by all.
Mary’s life will be celebrated at a funeral service held on Saturday, November 12th, at 2:00 p.m. at St. Johns Episcopal Church in Woodward with interment of ashes following at Elmwood Cemetery. A reception will be held afterwards at the church. Rev Mary Davis and Pastor Ann Wasson will officiate. In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable donation in Mary’s honor to St. John’s Episcopal Church, Woodward, Oklahoma, the First Presbyterian Church of Woodward Oklahoma, or to a charity of your choice.
"I have memories of our two families getting together especially sitting on the same side of Presbyterian Church. Through the years we have been in each other's homes. Mary and Mead were great host and hostess and were gracious in their hospitality. She and I shared the long term friendship of our husbands. I admired her as a mother and her leadership in our church as Moderator and Bible study leader in our women's group. I was thankful that my children visited them in London. This was such a great experience. Their return to Woodward was a real delight for us. She became a loyal friend and was outstanding in her kindness to many."
"Mary was a very dear friend, we have traveled to many places and attended many events together, we shared so many common interests, music arts, play and movies..... She was one of a very smart, wise, kind and loyal person that I ever known. She was one of the best God's blessings for me, I will miss her forever. I am so sorry that I am in Taiwan and will be in Kyoto Japan on Saturday on her funeral day, but Kyoto will be an elegant and noble place to think of Mary. To Lisa, Jim, Tally, Noreen, Chris, Christina and all the grandkids, Fong and I send our loving thoughts."
"Dear Family: Our hearts go out to you in your loss. Mary was one of the kindest and greatest ladies that I have ever known. When she was talking to you, she had the unique ability to make you feel like the most important person in the world. Our lives have been enriched because of her and all that she did for her family and community. We share your grief. May God bless you always."
"Mead and Mary enriched my life in so many ways and I shall always treasure their friendships. They instilled in their children their love of family, history, knowledge, the Arts and their love of God. Chris appeared in my 7th grade homeroom reading class. He was an excellent student with a British accent in a room full of Okies. Tally shared his talent of playing the cello with our church family. Lisa's beautiful Christmas cards shared her artistic talent with many of us. I have many happy memories of sharing meals in their home or meeting for lunch in OKC. My children's memories include playing tennis on their courts and going to their home for special Halloween treats. All of these special times keep Mary and Mead alive in our hearts."
"Mima and I became close friends at boarding school (Hockaday) when we were each 15 years old. She was smart, sweet, interested and interesting, sharing, supportive, always ready to have fun and to laugh, open to new adventures - I could go on and on without listing all of her many virtues. But those of you who knew and loved her, too, appreciate what a remarkable person she was. She and Meade made a great team. My husband and I enjoyed many happy times with them and have many happy memories. We even visited them in Woodward and enjoyed a tour of the ranch and viewing Meade's collection of Wild West memorabilia. Mima was always so alive and lively that I am struggling with the idea that she has passed on. She will always be alive in our hearts!"
"Mary Tally (or, “Mima,” as we called her) was surely one of the best beloved members of the Class of 1955 at The Hockaday School. Mima was kind, thoughtful, keenly intelligent, and a great deal of fun. The sentiment on Mima’s yearbook page when we graduated was most appropriate: “Mima is the girl who has friends because she is a friend.”
She is greatly missed.
Schatzie Henderson Lee
"Wonderful person, excellent friend.
The world sure was a better place because Mary was in it."
"I have the greatest of respect for Mary and for Mead, for their lifelong respect to my parents and my family; and their willingness to attend both of my parents services - they were both gracious and admirable; with respect and admiration; and for the love they shared together; my best wishes for eternity.
Steven Young and Family"
"Mary had a beautiful soul. She was always so kind. She was loved by all that k ew her.. I am blessed she was my friend."
"Thank you so much for this beautiful tribute. I only wish I could have spent more time with Mima after the time together at Hollins. She was a lovely person in every way. Our last visit was at a Hollins reunion, unfortunately some time ago--but it was a special chance to catch up with one another. I loved Mima and am so glad to see that she had such a close and wonderful family and so many good friends. I will always treasure her memory. With deepest sympathy to all of you--"
"Mary was a gracious lady and especially a warm and caring friend. She had a strong spirit to be involved with causes she championed. She made everyone around her better through her confident and measured demeanor. She had beautiful jackets and handbags and her fluffy blond hair was ladylike but just a little "saucy"! She shared her birthday with our son and always remembered him. I will miss her so much."
"I will always remember her as a very kind person, to Debbie Jackson Moore, Mead was also very kind, they will be greatly missed.
"What a wonderful testament, Lisa. Thank you for a glimpse in the window to your mother's extraordinary life. Now I see where all your exceptional qualities came from. Sending you love to you and your family."
"Mary was a lovely lady! She and Mead are missed by all the family and by everyone who knew them."
"Mary was a very gracious lady, and I enjoyed visiting with her..Heaven has gained a very special angel. She was always ready to step in where there was a need for help and had a smile on her face while doing so..Will miss you Mary."
"She will be greatly missed"
"What a beautifully written tribute to Mary who led an active and giving life. We are saddened by her death and express sympathy to her family. Mead and Mary welcomed us to Woodward and remained close friends until their passing. Bob and DeAnna Benn"
"We were all saddened to hear of the passing of Mary. Mead and Mary were our favored guests. We will miss them both here at the Hilton Garden Inn.
"I remember visiting the Fergusons in 1980 there in London. I had such interesting experiences the whole time I was there. I remember Mary's King Charles Spaniels and how surprising it was when she allowed them to clean up the dishes after dinner. (That would have been frowned upon in my parents home.) I loved all of the activities the Fergusons introduced me to. They even were kind enough to invite me to dinners & events while I lived in Phoenix and also since I have moved closer to home in Oklahoma City. Mary's joy of life and kindness will always be remembered."
"Mima was the heart and soul of the family. Many, including myself, relied on her for emotional support, and nothing gave her greater pleasure than helping others. Except maybe for eating. Every time we enjoy food and drinks in a restaurant, I'll think of how much she would have enjoyed it!"
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