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Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Carol Ferguson would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She had a work ethic that was truly unmatched, and her energy never seemed to run dry. Although she treasured her roles as a wife and mother, Carol just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother later in life. She lived to serve others, and she had a way of making even the ordinary extraordinary. Carol loved to make others laugh, and her love for life was contagious to all who were near. Life will never be the same without her here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
Life during the 1930s was primarily defined by the hardship countless American families faced due to the unrelenting grip of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, the unemployment rate soared, and things only became more dire with a drought that gripped our nation’s heartland for nearly two years during this time. Despite the challenges around them, William and Anna Picek were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their lives as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Carol on February 15, 1936, in Berwyn, Illinois. She was the middle of three children as she was raised in the family home alongside her older brother, William, and her younger brother, Richard. Carol was always close to her brothers.
In many ways Carol was a young girl of her generation. To support their family her father worked at a foundry while her mother worked at a bakery. They had a simple life and although things weren’t always easy in the Picek family they were content with what they had. As a teen Carol made spending money by babysitting.
New and exciting days were in store for Carol when she met the young man who would change the course of her life forever. His name was Charles Murch, and they met at a county fair. He was a young serviceman in the Navy at the time, and shortly after she graduated from high school they were married on August 15, 1953. Together they welcomed five children: Charles, Jeanette, Merrie, Kathy, and Patricia into their hearts and home. From the time she became a mother Carol was in all her glory as she lived to love and care for her family. She was very involved in the lives of her children including as a Scout leader, volunteering at their school, and enjoyed being around their friends. Carol ran an efficient home and was a bundle of energy as she never had time to sit down. She could outwork everyone, and it has even been said that she woke the rooster up! As a child of the Depression Era Carol kept everything, making sure nothing went to waste. Of course everything always had a place in her home as well. In 1977 she was deeply saddened with the death of her husband, Charles.
In 1979 she married Donald Ferguson and they shared several years together. From the moment she became a grandmother, Carol was over the moon excited and a regular presence and influence in the lives of her grandchildren. Thanksgiving was one of her favorites because of all of the cooking and baking Kolache cookies. Carol prepared very traditional Bohemian style food, and once the dishes were put away for Thanksgiving the Christmas decorations would go up. Christmas was always a big deal, and Carol spoiled everyone with just the perfect Christmas gifts. Both of these holidays were always near and dear to her heart because everyone was always all together. Carol always made time to play board games, like Connect Four, with her grandchildren. She enjoyed traveling, and when their children were younger they took an annual summer trip to Maine to visit Charles’ family. There were also memorable trips to Vegas, Disney, and the Bahamas. Carol was good at practical jokes, and for that reason April Fool’s Day was one of her favorite days of the year. In her free time she enjoyed playing cards, listening to Kenny Rogers music, and catching up on what her family was doing. After Donald’s death in 2011, Carol remained on her own, but in 2018 she moved to Michigan to be with Kathy and her family.
With unending devotion to the people she loved, Carol Ferguson touched the lives of so many in such a special way. She was someone who loved to laugh, and through the way she lived her life she taught others the importance of not taking themselves too seriously. Carol treasured her children and grandchildren, and there was nothing she loved more than the moments they were all gathered together. Dearly loved, she will be forever missed.
Carol Ferguson, age 83, of Woodridge, IL died on Friday, May 17, 2019 in Kalamazoo, MI. Members of her family include her children: Jeanette Morris of Clermont, FL, Merrie (Jeffrey) Shina of Kalamazoo, MI, Kathy (Brian) Austin of Plainwell, MI and Patricia (Eric) Hansen of Aurora, IL. Other members of her family include 13 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, and daughter-in-law Barbara Murch. Besides her 2 husbands, she was also preceded in death by her son Charles Murch in 2018 and her 2 brothers William and Richard Picek. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held at a later date. Please visit Carol’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook. Donations may be made to West Michigan Cancer Center.