Deborah K. Ferris
Our prayers go out to the Ferris family on the passing of Deborah Kay (Kennedy) Ferris who died on May 31, 2019. Deb is survived by her husband, Rev. Dr. Jon C. Ferris, a Retired Elder of the former Detroit Annual Conference.
Deb was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. She came to Michigan to attend Adrian College, where she met John Ferris. They were joined in marriage on August 22, 1970. Deb didn’t marry a minister but when John felt God’s call she supported him through seminary (where daughter Sonya was born) and through thirty-nine years of ordained ministry (where son Jeremy was born during the first of what would become six pastoral appointments). Deb didn’t just “work outside the home.” She had a series of careers that demonstrate her wide range of interests and diverse skills: high school teacher (math and science); Office of Missions and Church Extension of the Detroit Annual Conference of the UMC; Director of the Senior Citizen Center of the UMC (where she learned the art of grant writing); Member of the Planning Commission for the City of Detroit (where she shepherded community groups towards sources of funding); Director of Fund Raising for Alternatives for Girls. Beyond considerable volunteer work in the congregations John pastored, she was a dedicated advocate for peace and justice. Deb and John purchased a home in The Villages, an active retirement community in Central Florida, in 2010. They retired in 2012 and became Florida residents in 2015. Deb loved and was loved by God, her husband, their children and grandchildren, her sister, and many other relatives, and seemingly countless friends–including a great many four legged friends. She is greatly missed.
Visitation will take place at 10:30 AM at Royal Oak First UMC, 320 West Seventh St., Royal Oak on Saturday, July 20th at 10:30 AM. A Celebration of Life Ceremony will follow at 11 AM. All are invited to a luncheon after the service.
Condolences may be sent to Rev. Dr. John Ferris, 3766 River Birch, Flint, MI 48532.