Mary Lou Dyer Ferguson passed away June 11, 2020, after months of declining health, surrounded by her loving family.
Mary Lou was born in Portland, Oregon on March 25, 1933 to Carl Henry Dyer and Eleanor Marie Hendricks Dyer. Her brother Bob was born three years later.
Mary Lou attended Sacred Heart Grade School, Holy Child Academy, University of Oregon and received a Bachelor of Science from Portland State University. In 1954 Mary Lou met a handsome U.S. Coast Guard veteran, James Ferguson also of Portland. They married in June, 1955 and were blessed with three daughters: Sally Ferguson, Jill Ferguson Nesbitt and Susan Ferguson Walton. By the early 1960s Jim was fighting cancer and passed away in early February 1963.
As she would demonstrate many times in her life, Mary Lou did not know how to quit when faced with adversity. She was a pistol! She found ways over the following 57 years to raise and support her daughters and enjoy an active, happy and contributive life.
Mary Lou was proud of her 33-year career with Kaiser Permanente and her affiliation with Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. In 2015, Mary Lou was recognized for her volunteer work at Maryville Nursing Home in Beaverton. She served as president and treasurer of her homeowners association, treasurer for Catholic Charities and volunteered at the Tigard Library. Admirably, she was unsurpassed in her dedication to fitness at Multnomah Athletic Club where she was a member for 40 years. She was a runner for decades and didn’t hang up her downhill skis until she was 80.
Mary Lou was a long-standing member of the Madeline and St. Cecilia Parishes. Her Catholic faith and devotion to the Blessed Mother guided and consoled her throughout her life.
Mary Lou's relationship with Tom Maddocks brought his wonderful daughter Lisa into the family and she was grateful to have another loving daughter. Tony Palermini, a friend from early grade school days became an integral part of Mary Lou's happy later years. He was a bright light in her life. As a widower Tony knew what picking up life's pieces entailed and this wonderful Italian man became part of Mary's Irish, German and Scottish clan.
Mary Lou was loved by many and had so many dear friends! She was loyal, devoted and an excellent listener. Mary Lou fiercely loved her four daughters, Sally, Jill, Susan and Lisa; her five grandchildren, Carl and Robert Walton, Chloe and Henry Ross, and Olivia Nesbitt; and two great-granddaughters, Aubree and Kylie Walton.
Mary Lou passed away in the midst of a pandemic that prevented the normal ways of collective grieving. She would just consider it another hill to climb.
Mary Lou asked that in lieu of flowers a contribution be made in her name to the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon (Maryville) Foundation to benefit the chapel fund: ssmofoundation.org or Medical Teams International: medicalteams.org.
The funeral mass will be shared by her immediate family.
A celebration of life will be held when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Arrangements directed by Riverview Abbey.
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