FERGUSON ROBERT - Obituaries - Winnipeg Free Press Passages (2023)


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FERGUSON ROBERT - Obituaries - Winnipeg Free Press Passages (1)

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ROBERT BURY FERGUSON It is with deep sorrow that we announce the death of Robert (Bob) Ferguson on January 18, 2015, age 94. Bob passed away peacefully at Victoria General Hospital with family by his side following a brief illness. Bob was born on February 5, 1920 in Galt (Cambridge), Ontario to Alexander Galt Ferguson and Harriet Henrietta (Bury) Ferguson. His parents and his brother Ian predeceased him. Bob will be sadly missed but always remembered by his beloved wife, Margaret Warren Ferguson, his sister Mary Phelps, his three children Lyn Ferguson (Nick Martin), Robert W. Ferguson, and Marnie Ferguson (Dave Skidmore), and by his sister-in-law Mary Campbell. A loving grandfather and mentor, "Buzz" will be missed by his four grandchildren, Graeme Schwindt (Donaya), Christopher Ferguson-Martin (Karen Orr), Gillian Ferguson-Martin (Brad Keizerwaard), and Madeleine Skidmore, and his two great-grandchildren, Ian and Clare Schwindt. Also mourning his passing are his nieces and nephews, many relations across Canada and by a wide circle of cherished friends, colleagues, former students, and acquaintances. Bob grew up in Galt, Ontario and graduated from Galt Collegiate Institute in 1938. He earned a B.A. (1942), M.A. (1943), and PhD (1948) from the University of Toronto. Bob had a long and distinguished career in mineralogy and crystallography. He joined the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Manitoba in 1947, and led the department through three decades of rapid growth in mineralogical and crystallographic research. He retired as a Distinguished Professor in 1985, and continued his research and participation in the department as a Professor Emeritus. He was honoured with the Hawley Award by the Mineralogical Association and he was a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Bob met his dear wife Margaret in Winnipeg and they married December 29, 1948 in Edmonton, Alberta. They made their home in Wildwood Park where they lived very happily for 62 years. During his career Bob took three research leaves and he and Margaret cherished their time living in Cambridge, England (1949-1950), Oxford, England (1972-1973) and Adelaide, Australia (1979-1980). Bob loved to travel and he and Margaret made many fondly remembered trips to several world locales and to Ontario and British Columbia to visit family and friends up until 2012. Bob had a very close relationship to his church community, the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg. Joining the church in its earlier location on Banning Avenue in 1959, Bob and his family were regular attendees and participants in church life for many years. Bob volunteered his time in many ways to the church, as board president and member of many committees over the years. It was through the church community that he and Margaret met many of their dearest friends. In 1968, Bob and Margaret built their cottage on Big Duck Island in The Lake of the Woods. Bob loved "the lake." Whether he and Margaret were spending time with their family and friends, hosting Unitarian weekends or working on a building project, Bob cherished his many memories of cottage life. During the winter months, Bob took an active interest in and avidly supported Winnipeg's cultural community, the Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The Manitoba Opera, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Bob was a passionate humanist and supported many organizations that promoted peace, social justice, and equality for all. A memorial service will be held at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg, 603 Wellington Crescent on Saturday, February 7 at 3:00 p.m. The family would like to thank the staff at Victoria General Hospital for their care and compassion. In lieu of flowers, friends may make a donation to an organization of their choice. NEIL BARDAL FUNERAL CENTRE 204-949-2200 neilbardalinc.com

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 31, 2015

Condolences & Memories (8 entries)

  • Our sincere condolences to Margaret and the rest of Bob's family for your loss. Bob was a loyal supporter of USC Canada (the Unitarian Service Committee) from the time of our founder Dr Lotta Hitschmanova in the 1960s, and was an active volunteer at the old fire hall in Winnipeg, where clothes were sorted and packed for shipment to Korea and other countries. Bob will be fondly remembered for his loyalty, service, and generosity of spirit. - Posted by: David Rain (USC Canada) on: Feb 26, 2015

  • What a great life and great person! It is so typical of the world in which we live that a great scientist passes quietly, while the passage of a sports figure or politician is breaking news. Bob treated his colleagues -- whether research associates, fellow faculty members, or office staff -- with respect and good humour. I loved to tease him and watch his face light up. It was always easy to make Bob laugh. My condolences to Margaret, Lyn, Marnie, and Robert and to all his extended family. We grieve along with you. - Posted by: Brenda Miller (Friend and colleague) on: Feb 06, 2015

  • Morley and I will be thinking of you tomorrow and wish to express our condolences to the family. Your father/grandfather was a lovely, very engaged and engaging man. It was always a pleasure to meet him. I enjoyed reading about his full and very productive life. He will be missed. - Posted by: Gail Marchessault (friend) on: Feb 06, 2015

  • My dear Margret, Lynn, Rob and Marnie and all grandchildren. We are deeply shocked & grieved to hear the news of the sad demise of Bob, a person so dear to me and the entire family for the past 48 years. I spoke to Bob at length during Dec. and never realized that was the last.... He recalled many incidents in particular about you Margret and Nalini (passed away 2 years ago). My dear Margret, you and Bob were so close and lived such a wonderful life with children, grandchildren and students & friends across the globe. Life without Bob is not going to be easy ... Bob is an outstanding scientist and a great human with deep concern to everyone - students, friends and the entire community. We miss you Bob and we are all with you Margret & family in your grief.. SUBBU (India) - Posted by: K.V.Subbarao(SUBBU) (Research Student (worked with Bob as a Postdoctoral Fellow )) on: Feb 04, 2015

  • I am so pleased to have had the chance this Christmas/January to meet up with Bob & Margaret when I was in Winnipeg. Every few months when I come from Australia to see my Mom (Audrey Mensforth) I always try to have lunch with them & have a catch up & a laugh. They both came to my birthday party last April. He will be sorely missed. My condolences to the family.Maggie Mensforth, Perth, Australia - Posted by: Maggie Mensforth (Friend) on: Feb 02, 2015

  • My sympathy to your family at this time.I remember Bob as a jovial good humoured man and a very friendly neighbour.All that seems so long ago as we left wildwood in 1978.However hello to all of you as I think of you now.Sincerely,Ron Good - Posted by: Ron Good (Past old neighbor) on: Feb 01, 2015

  • I have fond memories of working with a thoroughly nice professor - Posted by: John Hodgkinson (Student) on: Jan 31, 2015

  • Dear Marg, Lyn, Rob and Marnie,I was so sorry to hear of Bobs passing. I have such great memories of meal times at your home and so many happy days at the lake. Lively conversations, a raconteur and always a laugh at the ready. he will be missed dearly.take care, Trudy Baker, Calgary - Posted by: Trudy Baker (family friend) on: Jan 31, 2015

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FERGUSON ROBERT - Obituaries - Winnipeg Free Press Passages (3)

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