Robert Louis Ferguson, 82, of Ozark went home to his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Robert was born Jan. 10, 1936, in Atkins to Luna Aline Higgins-Ferguson and William Henry Ferguson. He was the last surviving child of 12 siblings. Robert enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1953. He served in the Korean War and was honorably discharged in 1956 as an E4. In life, Robert was a husband, father, grandfather and friend. He loved nothing more than his family. He would talk about his kids and grandkids at every available opportunity to anyone who would listen. Robert was never known to shy away from hard work or a hearty home-cooked meal. A cattle farmer for decades, he also worked at Harding Glass in Fort Smith for 20 years and nearly another 20 at Arkansas Western before retiring in 1998. Robert was a devout Christian. Every Sunday, he attended First Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Ozark. As a member of the church, he served many roles, including elder, Sunday school teacher, board member, board chairman and property chairman. He was also a trustee for Harmon Cemetery and a founding member of the Ozark/Altus Council of Churches. He also appreciated the beauty of old, rural churches. He also watched Jeopardy religiously. Robert was an avid reader, gardener and pecan pie maker. He enjoyed feeding and watching the variety of bird species that would visit the backyard. He would often say that watching the birds was more entertaining than anything on the television. He was one to enjoy the finer things that Arkansas has to offer, that being Arkansas’ fruit season. He would make his rounds throughout the summer for strawberries, peaches, wild blackberries, blueberries and plums to eat fresh, freeze and make jelly, his infamous pastime. For many years, during the summer, he made jelly with his wife and grandkids, which they would later share with family, neighbors and the church. If you ever played cards with Robert, you always hoped to be his partner because he would always say with a smile, "I hope you’re ready, I play for blood."

Robert is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Delilah Jane Ferguson. The two wed Aug. 30, 1957. He is also survived by four daughters, Tonya Komp (Michael) of Ozark, Laura Ricketts (James) of Charleston, Shelly Wilson (Larry) of Etna and Jimmie Fredericks (Matthew) of Scranton; 11 grandchildren, Branef, Matthew, Jay, Amanda, Michael, Maegan, Karen, Patricia, Heather, Brandon and Tyler; seven great-grandchildren, Brady, Evan, Mason, Sophia, Taylor, Emma and Addie; and many friends and loved ones.

A visitation will be held Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at Shaffer Funeral Home, 2315 W. Commercial St., Ozark.

A celebration of his life will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at First Christian Church, N. Fifth St., Ozark, with burial following at Harmon Cemetery.

In life, Robert was dedicated to his church and was a longtime supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to First Christian Church in Ozark or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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