Velma Delores Ferguson, age 98, of Oak Harbor, WA went to be with Jesus on Sunday, January 10, 2021, just weeks shy of her 99th birthday. Born in Oldham, South Dakota on February 18, 1922 to Allen and Clara Knight, she spent her childhood growing up on her family's farm. In 1938, Velma, her mother, and brother, Glenn, moved to Anacortes, WA, where her father had moved one year prior to find work after the Depression.
She graduated from Anacortes High School in 1940, and attended business college in Everett, WA, where upon graduation, she received a civil service appointment to Sandpoint Naval Air Station. Five months later, in May of 1942, Velma was transferred to the construction site of NAS Whidbey Island. After the commissioning of the air station, she worked as the Executive Secretary to Admiral Cyril T. Simard, Naval Air Station Whidbey's first Commanding Officer.
Velma later transferred to the Ordnance Department where she met Chief Petty Officer John Ferguson. They married July of 1945, and shortly after, embarked on a tour of duty at Naval Air Station Tanapag, Saipan, in the Mariana Islands. John and Velma returned to NAS Whidbey Island, and welcomed their daughter, Sandra, in 1960. Four years later, Velma retired to stay home with their daughter.
During their retirement years, John and Velma owned and operated Island Taxi Service. In their free time, they enjoyed boating, camping, and playing Pinochle with friends. When John passed away in 1974, Velma returned to civil service work at the Naval Hospital, Medical Records Branch. In 1984, after 31 years of service, Velma retired again just in time for the birth of her first grandchild.
During her retirement years, Velma traveled the world with friends and family. She went on several cruises, rode camels in Egypt, and flew with a bush pilot in Alaska. Velma loved traveling annually with her daughter, son-in-law, and four grandkids. Her adventurous spirit even led her to Splash Mountain in her 70's, and jet-skiing in her 80's. She was an integral part of her family's day-to-day life.
Velma loved long walks, coffee, shopping, growing roses, and spending time with those she loved. Stylish, sweet, and quick-witted, she was an arsenal of timeless old sayings and funny one-liners. Velma lived a long, beautiful life grounded in faith, a strong work ethic and unconditional love. Velma will be greatly missed by her daughter, Sandy (Doug) Merriman, her grandchildren Ryan (Saralyn) Merriman, Kara (Jeff) Vallejo, Kyle (Leslie) Merriman, and Alyssa (Josh) Dunahoo, as well as eight great-grandchildren.