Velma Delores Fergus-on, age 98, of Oak Harbor, Wash., went to be with Jesus on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, just weeks shy of her 99th birthday.
Born in Oldham, S.D., on Feb. 18, 1922 to Allen and Clara Knight, she spent her childhood growing up on her family’s farm. In 1938, Velma, her mother and brother Glenn, moved to Anacortes, Wash., where her father had moved one year prior to find work after the Depression.
She graduated from Anacortes High School in 1940, and attended business college in Everett, Wash., where, upon graduation, she received a civil service appointment to Sandpoint Naval Air Station. Five months later, in May 1942, Velma was transferred to the construction site of NAS Whidbey Island. After the commissioning of the air station, she worked as the executive secretary to Adm. Cyril T. Simard, NAS Whidbey’s first commanding officer.
Velma later transferred to the Ordnance Department where she met Chief Petty Officer John Ferguson. They married in July 1945 and, shortly after, embarked on a tour of duty at Naval Air Station Tanapag, Saipan, in the Mariana Islands.
John and Velma returned to NAS Whidbey and welcomed their daughter, Sandra, in 1960. Four years later, Velma retired to stay home with their daughter.
During their retirement years, John and Velma owned and operated Island Taxi Service. In their free time, they enjoyed boating, camping and playing Pinochle with friends. When John passed away in 1974, Velma returned to civil service work at the Naval Hospital, Medical Records Branch. In 1984, after 31 years of service, Velma retired again just in time for the birth of her first grandchild.
During her retirement years, Velma traveled the world with friends and family. She went on several cruises, rode camels in Egypt and flew with a bush pilot in Alaska. Velma loved traveling annually with her daughter, son-in-law and four grandkids. Her adventurous spirit even led her to Splash Mountain in her 70s, and jet-skiing in her 80s. She was an integral part of her family’s day-to-day life.
Velma loved long walks, coffee, shopping, growing roses and spending time with those she loved.
Stylish, sweet and quick-witted, she was an arsenal of timeless old sayings and funny one-liners.
Velma lived a long, beautiful life grounded in faith, a strong work ethic and unconditional love.
Velma will be greatly missed by her daughter, Sandy (Doug) Merriman; grandchildren Ryan (Saralyn) Merriman, Kara (Jeff) Vallejo, Kyle (Leslie) Merriman, and Alyssa (Josh) Dunahoo; and her eight great-grandchildren.
Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.whidbeymemorial.com