Norman Ferguson Obituary

Norm died on March 29, 2021 after several years of poor health. It was a long goodbye. He leaves behind his wife of 44 years, Janice (Cavanaugh), children Denise Ferguson (Huntington Beach CA) and Jeff Ferguson (San Clemente CA), grandchildren Ricky and Cheyenne Brady (Huntington Beach CA) and Bradley Ferguson (Dana Point CA). Also surviving are his brothers Mart Ferguson (Mine) of Grand Rapids MI and Neal Ferguson (Cookie) of Lawton MI and Golden Retriever, Sandy who will miss her time with Norm in the laZboy. There are many friends and family not listed for fear of omitting someone who was important to Norm. He was preceded in death by his parents Roland and Mildred Ferguson of Schoolcraft MI, his sister, Beth, and grandson, Bryan Ferguson (Dana Point CA).

Norm was born June 29, 1936 at Dr. Beardsley’s home near Jones, MI. Norm went to the same one room schoolhouse in Corey that his father went to. He claims that he had to walk up hill both coming and going to school (it was on a hill). The family later moved to a farm outside of Schoolcraft. Norm had two horses; Happy and Frisky who liked Butterfinger candy bars.

Norm then attended Lawton Schools graduating in 1954 in a class of 18 people. His lamb would try to get on the school bus with him. He and his friend, Max Coon would take their rifles to school with them so they could go hunting after class.

Right after graduation Norm joined the US Navy where he proudly served on the USS Bennington aircraft carrier for two tours to the far East. He claims to have spent as much time below the waterline as submariners (he served as Boilerman below deck). It gave him a lot of material for stories; he always was ready with a good tale to tell.

After an Honorable discharge from the Navy, he studied to be a typewriter repairman on the GI Bill. It turned out to be an unprofitable career so he went to work for the Kalamazoo post office. He was a clerk then a Delivery Service Analyst there and at one time was a Postal Inspector in Harrisburg PA. The last stop of his 34 years of Postal Service were spent as Postmaster of his hometown of Lawton MI.

While in Kalamazoo Norm spent weekends flying skydivers from Austin Lake Airport. His joke was that people would go up with him but they wouldn’t ride down with him.

On June 5, 1976 he married his wife, Janice (Cavanaugh) in her parents’ living room in Kalamazoo. They eventually moved to Saint Joseph MI where Janice became Postmaster making them a two Postmaster family. They were active in Postmasters organizations (NAPUS & UPMA) even after retirement. Norm was a member of the Royal Order of Raccoons where he and his fellow retirees would solve world problems over coffee at the Stevensville Big Boy. He also loved to play cribbage with his club and at the senior center. Norm also loved to target practice at Point Blank. He loved playing cards with his cousins.

Norm took a retirement job at Grabemeyer Farms where he helped with apple and grape harvests. He loved driving the big equipment—and they even paid him to do it!

Norm and Jan loved to travel. They especially enjoyed exploring Arizona during their many trips there. Many bucket list items were checked off. Norm drove a NASCAR at the Richard Petty School of Racing. He drove a Ferrari in Las Vegas. He rode a mule named Arliss down into the Grand Canyon on a trip with his brothers. Norm and Jan worked on a Rose Parade float for the 2009 Rose Parade. They particularly enjoyed the time spent dune buggying near Kalkaska and time spent at their cabin on Gun Lake. It was a life well lived.

People who would like to honor Norm’s memory should perform some random act of kindness or make a donation to the SJ-Lincoln Senior Center or both.

A Graveside Service will be held 1:00 P.M. Friday, April 2, 2021 at Marcellus Cemetery. Friends may visit from 5:30 P.M. until 7:30 P.M., Thursday April 1, 2021 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph MI. Those wishing to share a memory of Norman online may do so at 

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