Cover photo for Jim Ferguson's Obituary
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1933 Jim 2021

Jim Ferguson

July 22, 1933 — November 11, 2021

Jim Ferguson, 88, of Kearney, NE passed away on Veterans Day, Nov 11, 2021, fitting as he was very proud of his military service. Jim is survived by Edna, and five children: Brad (Judi) Ferguson, Dan (Peggy) Ferguson, Brenda (Chuck) Lawson, Barb Ferguson, and Deanna (Jim) Byrne, 17 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren, and 5 great-great grandchildren, as well as his brother, Tom Ferguson. Jim was preceded in death by his parents Roy and Hazel Ferguson, sisters Bonnie Guilford and Shirley Wood, and his great grandson Ryan Stauffer. Jim graduated from Ansley High School in 1951 and joined the Air Force in 1952, serving in Korea and stoking his passion for flying. He married his high school sweetheart, Edna Mills, in 1953 and for the next 68 years they lived a full and adventurous life, dong it all side by side, hand in hand. Jim was born and raised on a Nebraska ranch and carried with him a lifelong love of farming and always had a garden. He joined the Air Force in 1952 and served as a flight engineer in Korea. After leaving the Air Force he obtained his pilot’s license and eventually his commercial and instructor’s ratings. These adventures were only preparing him for his true life’s work. Jim and Edna’s life changed forever in 1958 when they heard the good news that Jesus came to die for them and give them eternal life. They placed their faith in Christ and in Jim’s words “we were soon to see that God not only changed our lives, but also the direction of them”. Jim and Edna were introduced to the work of New Tribes Mission, an organization devoted to taking the gospel to people around the world who had never heard this good news before. Jim struggled to trust God to provide for his family if he became a missionary. One day he had a close call while flying a crop duster. He decided then if he was going to give his life, it was going to be serving the Lord and doing His will. That fall in 1966 Jim gave up flying and he and Edna moved to Pennsylvania to join New Tribes. In 1968 the Mission leaders approached Jim about starting a flight program training pilots for the field. He and Forest Estelle began building a hangar and praying, asking God to provide an airplane. God did provide, and for the next 30 years the man who gave up flying to serve God got to fly and train pilots all over the world. This included several years living with his family in the Philippines. When they returned to the US, Jim served in training and oversight of the flight program alongside many faithful men and women. Today the work goes on as Ethnos 360 Aviation and serves in 5 countries, flying planes and helicopters, helping carry the good news to those who have never heard of Jesus. Jim loved music and singing. He taught himself to play the saxophone, clarinet, ukulele, and banjo. Rarely was he without harmonica close to hand. Always the storyteller, he loved sharing tales and adventures, eventually writing many of them down in a biography titled, “To God Be the Glory”, after a favorite hymn. Jim said about his life, “If I had not obeyed that still, small voice one day, I would have missed out on all that I have seen the Lord do in so many lives and to see the transformation of people groups come out of darkness and into His marvelous light.” Funeral services will be Tuesday, November 16, 2021, at 1:00 pm at the Broken Bow Beran Bible Church in Broken Bow, NE with Chuck Lawson officiating. Burial will be in the Cumro - Box Elder Cemetery with Military Honors. Memorials are suggested to Ethnos 360 Aviation Fund. A visitation will be held on Monday, November 15th from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm with family greeting 2:00 to 4:00 pm at Govier Brothers Mortuary in Broken Bow. Govier Brothers Mortuary are in charge of arrangements. An online guest book may be signed at www.govierbrothers.com.
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