Lyle M. Ferguson, 76, died peacefully Oct. 22, 2004 at his home in Payson, surrounded by his loving family. Lyle was born Nov. 30, 1927 in Wickenburg.
He attended grade schools in Florence and Casa Grande. He graduated from Wilcox High School in 1945.
He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Navy. He attended Arizona State University and graduated from San Francisco College of Mortuary Science in 1953. He married his wife, Helen, in 1952.
From 1953-55, he was employed by Dugan Funeral Chapel in Bisbee. From 1955-70, he was employed by Phelps Dodge Corporation in Bisbee as a chemist, and he was also employed from 1955-70 part time as a funeral director for Hubbard Mortuary in Bisbee.
Lyle and Helen moved to Payson in 1970 where he established the Payson Funeral Home as owner and manager. He established Mountain Meadows Memorial Park, Inc. in 1973, a perpetual care cemetery at Round Valley in Payson as owner and manager. He was a member of the board of directors of the Arizona Cemetery Association from 1974-76.
He was a past member of B.P.O. Elks and the American Legion, a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Past President Payson Lions Cub, past Zone Chairman and Deputy District Governor of the Lions Club, member of Payson Planning and Zoning Commission for four years, past member of board of directors of Payson Chamber of Commerce, and he received Payson's "Man of the Year" award in 1976 for outstanding civic and community service.
He was appointed by former Governor Bruce Babbitt to the Arizona State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, where he served from 1978-1980. He sold the Payson Funeral Home and Mountain Meadows Memorial Park in 1987 and retired.
Lyle and his wife Helen, who retired from school teaching in 1988, enjoyed traveling to China, Hawaii, Alaska, Branson, Mo., Washington D.C., the West Coast and many other places in our beautiful country.
Lyle was blessed with an endearing personality, a delightfully wry sense of humor, and always had a story to tell. He had a passion for hunting with his dog, fishing, and teaching kids to water ski. The Lord and his family always came first, but he had a true concern for the welfare of others throughout his life. He will be greatly missed by his family and countless friends.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Helen; son, Brad Ferguson (Miriam) of Huntington Beach, Calif.; daughters, Janet Burlison (Ernie) of Mesa, and Joi Vitale (John) of Payson; grandchildren, Justin Hardy, Amber Mecham, Kevin Burlison, Ian Ferguson and Jeff Ferguson; and step-granddaughter, Jeana Vitale.
A memorial celebration will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30 at First Southern Baptist Church, 302 S. Ash in Payson.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to RTA Hospice, 511 S. Mud Springs Rd., Payson, AZ 85541.
Arrangements handled by Messinger Payson Funeral Home.