Jack Ewin Ferguson, 79, of Albuquerque, NM, passed away on Wednesday, February 6, 2019.
Jack (call sign Bullwhip) was born on August 16, 1939, and grew up in the farming community of Lamasco, Kentucky, in a small cabin with no electricity or indoor plumbing, surrounded by poison ivy, snakes, tics and chiggers. He attended school in a one-room schoolhouse until his family moved to Detroit, Michigan where his father got a job building tanks for Ford Motor Company. The family would then move to Evansville, Indiana, where he would attend Benjamin Bosse High School, graduating in 1957.
At the age of 19, Jack decided to join the U.S. Air Force, stating in a high school paper that he was joining the military "not with the hope of becoming a killer, but with the hope of there never being another war," also stating that he recognized the communists of the time "as having little regard for life or God." Jack first served as a navigator and tail gunner in the B-58 Hustler, and later as a pilot in B-52 Bombers, RF-4 Reconnaissance Fighters--flying at least 183 combat and combat support missions in North Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand; as well as flying numerous other missions in and around Southeast Asia (SEA), regularly pulling upwards of 5Gs--and later served as a pilot and instructor of numerous fighter aircraft in Europe and the United States, often pulling up to 8Gs in training (and pulled instantaneous ~20Gs during ejection seat training). He served as a pilot for General William Westmoreland. He earned numerous medals for his service, including the Distinguished Flying Cross.
He graduated from the US Army Command and General Staff College, where he made several lifelong friends. He also received his bachelor's from Hampton Institute in Virginia, and a Masters in Business Administration at Golden Gate University.
He retired from the Air Force in May 1979, after more than 20 years of service. He then moved to New Mexico with his wife and two children, and worked as a marketing representative at IBM in Albuquerque, winning awards as the most productive in IBM regional sales. He also sold insurance for Prudential, and sold telecommunications systems with numerous companies in the Albuquerque area.
Jack loved his friends, old and new. He has remained active in several fighter pilot associations, the B-58 Hustler association, and has helped organize pilot reunions around the United States and Europe. This past October he attended his 61st high school reunion. He supported the Lobos through thick and thin, and had the pleasure of seeing the Lobo men’s basketball team bring home a victory at the Pit the night before his death. He has been very active in Kiwanis Club of Albuquerque, serving as president from 2013-2014, and served on the Board of Directors for the Kiwanis Southwest Foundation. He greatly enjoyed being active in Bible study with Hoffmantown Church. He has always worked to help others, because he has always loved others.
Jack Ferguson was a loving son to his parents Cecil and Geneva, and has been a devoted brother to his sister Jill. He adored his children, Katalina and Ken, son-in-law Jay, and his grandchildren, Charliebelle and Halston. He was a loyal and loving nephew, uncle, and cousin to family near and far, and has been a lifelong friend to so many. He was always available with a listening ear and the best kind of bad joke, and his kindness, humor, and love will be deeply missed.
Services will be held Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 2:00 p.m., at Hoffmantown Church, 8888 Harper Rd. NE. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Jack’s beloved Camp Kiwanis via the SW District Kiwanis Foundation, 5318 Kings Row NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109.
See you in the funny papers Papa!