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1937 Prentiss James Ferguson 2023

Prentiss James Ferguson

January 19, 1937 — December 25, 2023

Covington, Louisiana

Prentiss James Ferguson, Sr., fondly known to everyone as Penny, passed away in Covington, LA on December 25, 2023 after a long illness. 

    Penny was born to Randall Hewitt Ferguson, Sr. and Louise Riggs Ferguson in Natchez, MS on January 19, 1937. He graduated in 1955 from Cathedral High School in Natchez. He was a member of the United States Navy before attending the University of Southern Mississippi from which he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration. He received his master’s +30 degree from Loyola University. Penny had a lengthy career in teaching at Delgado Community College beginning in 1963 until his retirement in 2005. He was elected president of Delgado Community College’s AFT Local 1130 in the late 1960’s. Under his leadership took Local 1130 statewide and it was renamed United Federation of College Teachers where he continued to serve until his retirement. As vice-president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and during his tenure as president of UFCT he continued to be a loud and clear voice for collective bargaining and the teaching profession. 

    Penny also had a lifelong passion for hunting and fishing. Many fond memories and stories came from time spent down the river at his camp in Port Eads known as the Bonart until its destruction during Hurricane Katrina. After his retirement, Penny spent his days developing property in Covington in preparation for a new family home. He lovingly tended to a wide variety of plants throughout the property. There was always something to do and constant recruitment of the grandchildren to “help Pop pick up sticks.”  He was very protective of his blueberry bushes and enjoyed making the best blueberry jelly and pies for the family.

    Penny is survived by his wife of 64 years, Betty Joanna Ellis Ferguson, his daughter Beth Todd (Doug), two sons, Cliff Ferguson (Donna) and Paul Ferguson, and his daughter-in-law Rachel Crosbie Ferguson. He is also survived by thirteen grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.  Penny was predeceased by two sons, Prentiss James Ferguson, Jr. and John Randall Ferguson. 

    He was also predeceased by his parents Randall H. and Louise R. Ferguson; four brothers, Randall H. Ferguson, Jr., Charlie Ferguson, Fred Ferguson, and Paul Ferguson; and three sisters, Katherine Killelea, Mary Ann Mascagni, and Patricia Lawless.

    A private, family burial will take place in Natchez on April 1 at 10:00am. 

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