James Stephen Ferguson was born in San Antonio, TX, to Mary Ellen Loveland, Montana and immigrant father, Noel Ferguson, Dundee, Scotland on November 14, 1946. He was called home by the Creator on June 8, 2019. James attended Alameda High School, CA, played clarinet in band, oboe in orchestra, and sang tenor in chorus. With early voice training, age 14, James developed into a 4 octave range baritone. He transferred to Berkley High School, graduating January 7, 1965. During this time, he became the youngest member of the Oakland Symphony Chorus. James attended Merritt College in Oakland, CA., where he was the representative for the Student Mobilization Committee (SMC) against the war in Vietnam.
James was also a chorus member in several light operas in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1972, he transferred to the University of South Florida, where he met his wife, Pamela, and became a radio announcer for WUSF. James subsequently went on to work for the St. Petersburg Times, converting “hot” type to a computerized format, first in the country. He worked for Paradyne Corporation in Largo, FL and Salt Lake City, Utah as an Electronics Technician, Programmer and Customer Service Representative. James and his family relocated to Jacksonville, FL in 1987, and to Camden County, GA in 1995. From 1987 to 2013, James worked for Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base as a telecommunications specialist, a systems analyst, and in the Metrology Lab for Lockheed Martin.
James’s greatest passions in life were God, radio and music. He sang in numerous churches, and performed works such as Handel’s “Messiah” and Brahms’ “Requiem” with the Oratorio Society in Salt Lake City, Jacksonville Symphony Chorus, Coastal Symphony of Georgia and the Messiah Community Chorus, St. Simeon’s Island. An extra-amateur radio operator, call W6JF, James participated in Navy and Army MARS (Military Auxiliary Radio Service, call Alpha Alpha Romeo 4 Alpha Victor). Committed to public service, he was a member of the Camden County Amateur Radio Society, and the Camden County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team. He managed to combine his passions together by helping convert WECC “The Lighthouse” from an AM only station to FM, then continued to maintain the AM side.
James is survived by: his wife, Pamela, Woodbine; daughter, Dr. Dawn Ferguson Nguyen, PhD, Salt Lake City, grand-daughter Lillie Isabella Nguyen, three sons, Skye, Aziel and Jehiel Ferguson of Atlanta; and by two older siblings, Norma Walden of San Antonio, and Frederick Day of Port Arthur, TX. A Service of Remembrance will be held at 2:00 pm on August 10, 2019, at Southeast Community Church, 790 May Creek Drive, Kingsland and King of Peace Episcopal Church will host a reception there immediately following the service.
Allison Memorial Chapel and Funeral Home of St. Marys is in charge of arrangements.