It is with heavy hearts that we announce the sudden passing of Eileen Ferguson, but it is with great honour and privilege that we celebrate her life. Eileen will be forever cherished by her husband of 57 years, Bob Ferguson, daughters Shannon Bissanti of Austin, Texas and Janice (Jayme) Hepfner of Calgary. Eileen was blessed with five grandchildren, Kali, Amelie and Bella Bissanti of Austin as well as Jada and Jake Hepfner of Calgary. Eileen also leaves her beloved sister Anne Chanda of Lethbridge, cousin Delores Ryan, nieces Lynn (Geoff) Chanda, Lee Anne (Dean) Jetten, Michele (Bob) Ross and Kelly (Ron) Watts; nephews Roy Chanda and Michael (Deb) Ryan. Eileen also leaves many special friends, teaching colleagues, wonderful neighbours and so many people in the Medicine Hat and church community that knew and loved her for her beautiful, kind, compassionate and considerate spirit. Eileen was predeceased by her son Jeff Ferguson, brother-in-law LeRoy Chanda and parents Michael and Jolana Haschak.
Eileen, (born Ilona Hoschak) was born in Medicine Hat on May 4, 1942. She was extremely proud of her Slovakian heritage and her Medicine Hat roots. She moved to Lethbridge when she was 7 years old where she completed the rest of her schooling and graduated from St. Joseph’s High School. Eileen moved to Edmonton and attended the University of Alberta where she received her teaching diploma and began a proud career as a teacher in Lethbridge, High River, Grande Prairie and Medicine Hat.
Eileen met and fell in love with Bob Ferguson while living in Lethbridge. There are many stories of their adventures together over the years. Shortly after they married in 1964, Bob and Eileen moved to High River where Eileen taught first grade and Bob worked for Imperial Oil. Later that year they welcomed their son Jeff. Bob was transferred to Grande Prairie where Shannon joined the family. Imperial Oil also took them to Edmonton where they had their last child, Janice. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Tsawwassen, BC, where they had a very active lifestyle and many happy memories. The Ferguson family moved back to St. Albert a few years later and then a final move back to her birth place of Medicine Hat, Alberta in 1978. Eileen was a very active volunteer in the children’s schools and was grateful she had the opportunity to be home with her children. In each of these communities she always had such a wonderful network of lovely friends and neighbours and was known for her generosity, her humour and above all else…her story telling. Eileen loved to tell a good story and she had many.
Eileen was instrumental working with Bob at the Esso gas station as well as their Rent-a Wreck, Fun time Party Rentals and Discount Car rental businesses, but her greatest pride was working for the Medicine Hat Catholic school system as a substitute teacher. Eileen was often requested to sub and for many was a first choice to sub as she was known for her work ethic and kind spirit. The Ferguson family would often gather in the living room after a day of subbing to hear of the stories with her students and colleagues. These experiences brought her tremendous joy and we are so very proud that she was still getting calls to sub until her passing.
Eileen was truly an unforgettable soul. She was loved by all and she will be tremendously missed by those who had the honour of knowing her. She will be cherished forever. We sincerely appreciate the outpour of support from friends and family.
The celebration of life will be held in the PATTISON CHAPEL on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. with Life Celebrant, David Townsend.
To e-mail an expression of sympathy, please direct it to: firstname.lastname@example.org subject heading: Eileen Ferguson.