She was born November 25, 1924, in Elkhart, Kansas to William and Ona Pearl (Eastlick) Swagerty.
She was always hard-working and enjoyed challenges. Whether working in her yard, or grappling with a puzzle, she was most happy when her mind and body were busy. She was also very proud to have worked hard to become valedictorian of her high school.
On December 25, 1944, she married Glen Ferguson. Together, they had two loving sons, Gary and Mark. Glen passed away on September 10, 1974.
Her first job out of high school was working with her sister, Trude, at the soda fountain at a drugstore. She worked in the church, played the piano, taught Sunday school, and organized the Women’s Missionary Society. After she lost her husband, she became a bookkeeper for a dress shop, worked for the post office, kept inventory for a furniture store, sold real estate, and worked as a billing clerk.
She had a soft spot for animals and always offered them food and shelter. She housed stray cats and their kittens, wild bunnies and their babies, and always had an open door for needy little dogs. It gave her joy to offer love to little abandoned creatures.
Throughout her life, Mary enjoyed music and was a talented piano player. She played piano for The Church of God in every town she lived in. She memorized many hymns and could play them from memory throughout her life. Even as she began to lose her eyesight, she was able to enjoy her gift of music.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Glen; her son, Mark; her sisters, Ruby Riley and Ruth Loepp; and brother, William Swagerty.
Surviving are her sister, Gertrude Perkins; son, Gary Ferguson and wife Michelle; granddaughters, Hylise Dickey and husband Matt, Erinn Gazda and husband Roman; five great-granddaughters, Autumn Kidd, Elora Dickey, Maggie Gazda, Grace Gazda, and Abby Gazda.
Her love of God, virtues, and strength were an inspiration to everyone around her.
Graveside service will be held at 10:00 AM on Monday, June 27, 2016, at the Elkhart Cemetery in Elkhart, Kansas. Memorial contributions may be given to the First Church of God Making a Difference or Hands of Hope in care of Garnand Funeral Home, PO Box 854, Elkhart, KS 67950.