Obituary – Doris Dowdle Ferguson

FERGUSON, Doris Dowdle, 95, of Henrico, Virginia, died June 27, 2022.

Doris, loving mother, cherished grandmother and great friend to many, was predeceased by her parents, Jesse and Alma Dowdle; husband, the Reverend William S. Ferguson, who predeceased her in 2016 after 64 years of marriage; one son, Paul Frederick Ferguson; and grandson, Justin Kyle Ferguson. She is survived by her sons, David William Ferguson (Deborah) and Joseph Keith Ferguson (Jan); daughter, Ellen Ferguson Thurston (Mike); his grandchildren, Scott Thurston (Emma), Graham Ferguson, Amy Thurston Hellwig (Tyler), Ryan Ferguson; six nephews and great-grandson expected in August.

As the wife of a United Methodist minister, Doris has always stood by her husband Bill, helping to sustain and lead through Christ the many church congregations over the years. Doris was born in Columbus, Mississippi, where she spent her undergraduate years as a student at Mississippi State College for Women. She continued her studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where she met Bill and earned her master’s degree in religious education. After her four children were in school, Doris worked as an English teacher for the Franklin County, Virginia, and Culpeper County, Virginia school systems. Shortly after moving to the Richmond, Va. area, Doris began her long career with the Baptist Foreign Mission Board, as a word processing supervisor, until her retirement in 1991. She was a key caregiver for her grandchildren during their early years and they all looked forward to their beloved Nan Nan coming to take care of them while their parents were working.

Besides her great love for her grandchildren, Doris has been a proficient knitter all her life and has more recently knitted baby bonnets for Noel’s mother Henrico, as well as the babies of many family members and friends. Doris was a wonderful pianist, with the ability to play most songs ‘by ear’ and recently performed for other residents of Chestnut Grove last Memorial Day. When asked what some of her favorite things were, it was always the same answer – chocolate and Dr Pepper.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 9 at 11 a.m. at Discovery United Methodist Church, 13000 Gayton Rd., Henrico, Va. 23233. A reception will be held after the service. Memoirs can be sent to Discovery United Methodist Church, where Doris was a member for nearly 18 years, or to the American Cancer Society.

The Ferguson family appreciates the support and care provided to Doris at Chestnut Grove Assisted Living Center for nearly 10 years and would like to thank all of the friends who have taken the time to visit her in Chestnut Grove over the years.


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