October 10, 2013


APRIL 25, 1921 — OCT. 4, 2013

The Oskaloosa Herald


Reta Berneice Ferguson, age 92, of Charleston, left this life on Friday, Oct. 4, while in the comfort of her home and in the loving presence of her family.

Visitation for family and friends was held Wednesday evening, Oct. 9, from 5 – 7 at Adams Funeral Chapel in Charleston. A Memorial Service honoring and celebrating her life was held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, at the Wesley United Methodist Church located at 2206 Fourth St. in Charleston. It is requested that in lieu of flowers, thoughtful donations in her honor be made to Wesley United Methodist Church. Gifts may be mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Dr., Charleston, IL 61920.

Berneice was born on April 25, 1921, in Sac City, the daughter of Johnny B. and Mamie (Gibson) Morrison. She eloped to marry Max B. Ferguson on March 28, 1942, in Kansas City, Mo. It was a union of love and friendship which endured for nearly 69 years until Max’s death on Jan. 2, 2011. She is survived by her children, Alan Ferguson, of Chillicothe, Ill., Jane Ferguson, of Kensington, Md., and Curt Ferguson, of Chattanooga, Tenn.; a grandson, Nick Andersen, of Kensington; a sister-in-law, Lois Beaver and two brothers-in-law, Homer Ferguson and Gene Ferguson, all of Oskaloosa; and many nieces and nephews and their families. In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by two brothers, Wilbur and Dennis Morrison.

Berneice attended Northern Iowa University and began teaching elementary school in Royal, and later in Storm Lake. Berneice was devoted to her family as a wife, mother, grandmother and homemaker but decided to complete her degree and went back to school at Eastern Illinois University graduating with high honors and receiving her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education in 1969. Berneice never returned to the classroom, but did accept a position with H & R Block, and during tax season enjoyed assisting people with their income tax preparation. Berneice was a faithful and active member of the Wesley United Methodist Church for many years – as a Sunday School teacher and with the Methodist Women. She was a charter member of the Charleston Chapter KO of P.E.O.

She and Max were both avid bridge players and Berneice was a member of numerous bridge clubs. She excelled at making their house a warm and loving home where all who entered its doors felt comfortable and welcome and were usually offered a piece of freshly baked pie. She somehow always kept up with the canning and freezing of the ample produce generated by Max’s gardens and orchards and her kitchen was usually filled with the aroma of baked “goodies” or her fabulous peanut brittle. She was recognized for her gooseberry pie which was known to fetch quite a price when being auctioned for a charitable cause.

Berneice was an extremely kindhearted and generous woman and was always doing and caring for others. There are many lives which have been enhanced through her warmth and loving generosity – whether it was through a much needed meal she prepared, a phone call made or a card sent. Berneice’s family and many friends will always remember her as a gracious woman never expecting anything in return for her love and many kindnesses extended not only to them but to a multitude of others.

Berniece’s memorial website is available at www.adamsfuneralchapel.com where condolences may be sent to the family by clicking on obituaries.

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