May 28, 2020
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Contributed | BDN
Contributed | BDN

HANOVER – Norman Kenneth Ferguson Jr. died peacefully Monday, Feb. 22, 2010, with his loving family at his side at Hospice House, Auburn. He was born in Boston, Mass., son of Norman and Hazel (Merrill) Ferguson. He was devoted to his family and a faithful public servant, having held elected office as Oxford County Commissioner and Maine State Senator. Norman grew up in Bethel, where he attended Gould Academy. He excelled in athletics playing football, running track and competing in Alpine and Nordic skiing, capturing several individual state championships in Nordic skiing and middle-distance running. After graduating from Gould Academy in 1952, Norman enlisted in the U.S. Army and proudly served his country. He was stationed in Austria, where he trained troops in skiing and also represented the Army in Alpine ski racing, competing against Austrian and other European skiers. He won numerous competitions and collected cups and medals from races at St. Johann and other ski areas in slalom, giant slalom and downhill. After returning home in 1955 he dated a Gould acquaintance, Barbara Cole. They soon fell in love and were married in the Congregational church in Bethel, Jan. 29, 1956. Norman attended Burdett College, Boston, where they lived shortly before he graduated in 1957. He began work in accounting for Oxford Paper Co., Rumford. The couple made their home in Hanover, where they raised a lively family of four sons. He remained at the paper mill having received certification as a purchasing agent and retired in the late 1980s. Norman was a devoted family man, participating in Boy Scouts, seemingly endless sports events, musical concerts, camping and hiking trips, and numerous other activities with his sons. He relished Hanover as a great place to raise a family. The local population boasted a large percentage of children that naturally led Norm to volunteer in youth group and scouting activities at Rumford Point Congregational Church, where he held numerous offices throughout the decades. It is noted for posterity he never participated in choir – vocal harmony was a strong suit, though it never prevented him from indulging private audiences of family and friends! Norman had a profound patriotic pride in his country, as well as his state, county and community. He served several years on the school board and was elected as Oxford County Commissioner, having served that post for a total of 26 years. He later served in the Maine State Senate – thus his red, white and blue campaign signs became a common land mark in autumn election cycles. He served eight consecutive years as state senator completing election term limits. Another role he enjoyed and took great pride in was moderator at town meetings in Hanover. He prided himself as a responsive elected official answering phone calls, responding to all correspondence and expending great energy in serving constituents. Above all, Norman cared deeply for young people and their pursuit of education and often sent notes to those children who worked diligently and were recognized for honor-roll or other scholastic achievement. He passionately believed the key for a thriving democratic republic is the nurturance and education of society’s youth. Throughout his political involvement, Norm was active serving the Republican Party at local and state levels. He served as the Grand Old Party treasurer for Oxford County and was a successful fundraiser. He was active in the campaigns of gubernatorial, congressional and U.S. Senate races having been Oxford County campaign chairman for former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, then running for U.S. Senate, Senator Olympia Snowe and Senator Susan Collins. He has remained part of their teams and numerous other candidates running for local, state or federal office. Among other activities and organizations, Norman served on the board of directors at Oxford Federal Credit Union, the board of AARP and the board for Western Maine Transportation Services. He spent many hours on the slopes of Black Mountain and assisted with officiating numerous Nordic ski-racing events. He was also active in St. Andrews Society activities and enjoyed attending highland games. He and his wife, Barbara, helped with devotion to make the dream of Hospice House a reality. Norman’s boyhood was everlastingly influenced by his Scottish heritage and his undying love for Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. He passed this love on and shared it with his wife, four sons and their wives and 11 grandchildren. Throughout the years many dear friends and relatives in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, have made their way to the pasture and beach where Clan Ferguson camps simply to be by the ocean, enjoy the inspiring beauty of the land, birds and wildlife – much in the tradition of generations before. Norman had a great energy and zest for life with a healthy curiosity for history and politics, but above all, his spirit was centered at home, where he was adored by family and faithful dogs, Springfield and Abraham. He will be sadly missed. Norman is survived by his wife, Barbara; his four sons and their wives, Scott and Dawn, Douglas and Brenda, Dan and Janet, and Robert and Cecile; 11 grandchildren, Eric, Ian, Sam, Molly, Marianne, Catherine, Lucas, Angus, Sadie, Jonathan and Seth – all Fergusons; a sister, Elizabeth Mottla and her husband, Paul; a brother-in-law, Bill Kohut; nieces and nephews. The family sends their heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all who prayed and cared for us. Most especially the Ferguson’s express their deepest gratitude to the remarkable people at Hospice House and Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice. Their compassion and kindness embraces all who walk through the door, and we feel blessed to have had our dear one in such capable hands. We are especially grateful for Dr. Austin who kept us informed, assured and at peace each and every day. Our community is better for having all the dedicated professionals and volunteers of this fine organization. Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at Rumford Point Congregational Church, Rumford Point. Interment with military honors will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, May 22, at Hanover Cemetery, Hanover, Maine. Friends are invited to call 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday at Meader & Son Funeral Home, 3 Franklin St., Rumford. Those who desire may contribute in his memory to Hospice House, 236 Stetson Road, Auburn, ME 04101. Online register book and memories may be shared at

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