Annell Ferguson

First post: Mar 17, 2018 Latest post: Mar 22, 2018
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Annell Palmer Ferguson Sep. 8, 1930 - Dec. 19, 2017

Annell was born in Bristow, OK, to loving parents Eva A. and Kenneth D. Palmer. She was the first born child, then followed three brothers, Wally, Bill and Pat. The family moved to Kansas when Annell was young because of her father's work for the Prairie Pipeline Co.. When she was 14, the family moved to Boulder, CO, where she finished high school, then attended and graduated from the Univ. of Colorado with her bachelor's degree in Music Performance. As all who knew and loved her were aware, she was blessed with the God-given gift of a beautiful singing voice. She spent her summers while in college performing in the chorus of summer Metropolitan Opera's performances held in Central City, CO, where her love of music blossomed.

Upon graduating college, and after a few short term jobs, Annell was hired by a "young" United Airlines (UAL) to be stationed in Denver. She worked first as a Reservations Agent, and later as a Passenger Service Representative, where she assisted passengers who needed special attention. This included countless celebrities of the day, amongst other notables and everyday people. The airline allowed her many travel opportunities, as well as options to transfer to other cities, which she took advantage of, including New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. In San Francisco, she was selected to sing in the chorus of the San Francisco Opera Company as a second part time job. While at UAL she also participated in company theatre productions including plays and musicals.

Family was very important to Annell throughout her life. She met her first husband, Rodney Eaton, while both were working for UAL in Seattle. They married after a short engagement, and she became a wife and a loving stepmother to Rod's 2 girls, Tina and Melinda. Soon they were blessed with their first child together, Russell, born in 1961. Rod continued to work for UAL and was eventually promoted and transferred, so Annell, Rod and a young toddler Russ then moved to Portland. In 1965 they suffered the loss of their second child, Matthew, who was sadly born prematurely. This tragedy was followed by another blessing of their third child, Nicole, born in 1967. In the early 1970's, Annell became a substitute music teacher for grades K-8. Because of Rod's continuing employment with UAL and the associated travel privileges, the family travelled often, both domestically and internationally. These travel benefits truly allowed the family to remain extremely close with extended family and friends throughout the years.

Annell's love of family, friends, travel and music were the constant themes throughout her life. Where ever she lived, she sought out and participated in singing and performing, often in choirs of the churches she attended, as well as doing paid soloist work at other churches around town. Most meaningful to her were the countless soloist performances at celebrations of family and friends. She also participated in the Choral Arts Ensemble in Portland for several years. She blessed all who heard her singing voice! Annell was also a member of Sertoma, a service organization which performs charitable work in the Portland area.

Travel was not only Annell's love, but also her lifelong career. A Certified Travel Consultant, she worked in and started several successful travel agencies, specializing in leading tour groups from the Pacific NW all over the world. She also created a concept unique in the travel industry, an agency that operated as an umbrella for successful independent contracted travel agents who had their own clientele. For this she was recognized in multiple industry publications. Later in life she received her teaching degree and taught travel related classes at PSU part time. Throughout her career in the travel industry, she continued to travel for both work and pleasure.

Late in life, Annell met, was courted by and then married Myron Ferguson in August of 2001, which brought her to Salem. She once again became a loving stepmother to Myron's 4 children, Cindy, Bruce, Greg and Donald. Myron enjoyed traveling as much as Annell, as his former career required it, too. Together they travelled to many destinations, including a world cruise amongst other fun spots. They also traveled often to visit with family and friends. During their marriage, she assisted Myron in his publication of two successful books. In their retirement years they participated in a social group called The Newcomers Club in Salem, where they both shared in many charitable activities and events, as well as Bridge, Pinochle and Dinner groups. Myron and she had many wonderful years together before his passing in June of 2017.

Annell is predeceased by her husband, Myron Ferguson, her brother, Pat Palmer, her son, Matthew Eaton, her step-daughter, Melinda Eaton, and her step-son, Greg Ferguson.

She is survived by her brothers, Wally Palmer and his wife, Linda, and by Bill Palmer and his wife, Sandy. She is also survived by her children, Russ Eaton and his wife, Kathy Krause, Nikki Hunt and her husband, Kevin; by her step-children, Tina Michalak and her husband, Roman; Cindy Ferguson Short and her husband, Randy Short, Bruce Ferguson and his wife Tracy, by her step-daughter in law, Patty Ferguson, and by Donald Ferguson and his wife, Tish. She is also survived by her step-grandchildren: Jeff and Chris Nash, Kyle Ferguson, Chastity Ferguson, Amy Gastelum, and by Dakota Clark and her husband, Patrick. In addition, she is survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, as well as step-great-grandchildren.

A beautiful, independent, confident woman, age and failing health were her only impediments in life. After a day spent with her children, and much to everyone's surprise, Annell died peacefully in her sleep on Dec. 19th, 2017, 54 years to the day after her mother passed on.

Her family feels blessed to have had her in our lives, and she will be profoundly missed. We are comforted in knowing that her deep faith in the Lord has brought her to heaven, where she is vibrant and full of life once again, and surrounded by those she loves who have passed before her. We thank all of those who have reached out to us with prayers and support during this difficult time. Services will be held at a future date.