Mead's Story

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Mead Ferguson, of Woodward, Oklahoma, died peacefully on September 15th, 2016 at the age of 86 in the Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Oklahoma City, surrounded by family.

Mead was born in Wellington, Kansas to Elizabeth and Dwight Ferguson and moved to Woodward, Oklahoma when he was 6 weeks old. He attended the Woodward schools through his early High School years until he went to Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut. He graduated cum laude from Yale University with a BS degree in physics and math in 1953. He then spent two years in the U.S. Army Artillery from 1953 to 1955, assigned to the Atomic Energy Commission at Aberdeen Proving Ground to work on sound waves from nuclear explosions at Nevada Proving Ground. After serving in the Army, he graduated from Harvard Business School with an MBA in 1957. He was a Baker Scholar (top 10 of his class).

He began working for Esso at the Baton Rouge Refinery followed by assignments of increasing responsibility at Humble Oil in Houston (Supply and Transportation) and at the corporate headquarters in New York City (Coordination and Planning). He then spent 11 years in London, England with the Esso Middle East Office. After retirement in 1980, he returned to Woodward, Oklahoma to own and operate a cow/calf ranch and to partner in cow/calf and stocker operations in the Kansas Flint Hills. These operations have expanded and continue today.

Mead was active in many organizations. These include: serving as an elder and session member of the First Presbyterian Church in Woodward, Oklahoma, friend of St. John's Episcopal Church in Woodward, Oklahoma, Director and President of the Woodward Arts Council and the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum, Director of the Oklahoma Humanities Council, President and Director of the Great Salt Plains Boy Scout Council, President and Director of the National Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association and the Oklahoma Angus Association, Chairman of the Woodward County Conservation District, Director of the Oklahoma Economic Development Association and of the Resource Conservation and Development Group. He was a member of the Woodward Elks and of the Woodward Rotary Club where he served as past President, and was on the Board of the Woodward Hospital and Health Center. He was a board member and past Chairman of the Security State Bank in Wellington Kansas and was enthusiastically supportive of Friends of Historic Fort Supply. An Eagle Scout himself, he was a scout leader in Houston, New York City and London.
An ardent sports fan, Mead was proud to be on the Woodward state champion football team in l947 that went to the Sugar Bowl. While at Yale he was on the wrestling team where, after a tough match that Yale won against Army, he was described as "the gritty little blue" in the New York Times sports section. Since returning to Woodward, he has enjoyed attending many wrestling matches at OSU. An avid tennis enthusiast, he was thrilled to be able to attend many Wimbledon tennis matches while living in London, where he coached both of his sons' Little League baseball teams.

Mead is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary Tally Ferguson, three children, Elizabeth, Tally and Christopher and their spouses James Stoeffel, Noreen Casey and Christina Ferguson, and grandchildren Price and Christopher Stoeffel, Casey and Mikey Ferguson and Nicola Ferguson. He was preceded in death by his parents Elizabeth and Dwight Ferguson, and by his brothers, Deems, William and David Ferguson.

Mead will be missed by all.

The funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. at The First Presbyterian Church in Woodward with interment following at Elmwood Cemetery. A reception will be held afterwards at the church. Pastor Ann Wasson and Reverend Mary Davis will officiate. In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable donation in Mead's honor to either the First Presbyterian Church, Woodward, Oklahoma, St. John's Episcopal Church, Woodward, Oklahoma, or to a charity of your choice, with the Billings Funeral Home accepting the contributions.
Published on September 21, 2016
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