THOMAS OLIVER FERGUSON Green Valley, Ariz. Thomas Oliver Ferguson died March 25, 2020, in Tucson, Ariz., after a brief illness. Tom was a loving husband to Elaine for 58 years, a fabulous father to Kelley (Bob) Cole and Susan (Craig) Nusenow, and his most favorite role was being Papa to Rachel and Erica Cole and Ben Nusenow. Tom was born Oct. 3, 1934, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Claude and Esther Ferguson. He graduated from Lisbon Community School in 1951 when he was 16 years old. He later joined the military and served for three years in the U.S. Army ending his military service as a staff sergeant. When he returned, he began his career of farming in Cedar County. He married Evelyn Elaine Driscoll on Sept. 6, 1961, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Mechanicsville, Iowa. In 1997, Tom retired from farming after 45 years and together they found their second "Field of Dreams" home in Green Valley, Ariz. The close bonds and social connections they established were the perfect way to celebrate each day of retirement. Tom was a member of St. Ann's Catholic Church in Tubac, the Tubac Center of The Arts, Green Valley Elks Lodge No. 2592 and American Legion Madera Post 131, where he gathered on Saturdays at noon for hot dogs, beer and conversation. In addition, Tom was an avid reader of history books and several daily newspapers. His love of gardening continued in Green Valley with his many fruit trees and flower pots. As much as Tom enjoyed living in Iowa and Arizona, he and Elaine loved to travel the world. In his 85 years of life, he visited nearly all 50 states, five continents and over 50 countries. Their travel partners, Dave and Judy Roberts, are treasured and supportive friends. Tom also loved his family and hosted yearly vacations in August and December. The Ferguson Clan of Nine enjoyed snorkeling with manta rays in Hawaii, white water rafting in Colorado, hiking in Yellowstone Park, horseback riding in Arizona, bonfires on the beaches of California and many 5 o'clock happy hours. Tom was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Mary Lord and Jean Netolicky. The Ferguson Family would like to express our sincere gratitude to the medical professionals at Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital in Tucson. Due to the infectious nature of Tom's condition, his family was not allowed to be in the hospital room with him so he departed this world holding the hand of his sweet nurse Abeer Barghout. We are eternally grateful for the loving compassion she provided to Tom. A celebration of Tom's life will be held at a later date due to the Coronavirus quarantine. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Salvation Army or your own favorite charity. So Papa, this is not Iowa ... it is Heaven!
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