Born March 13, 1922, she was the third of four children born to Ailene (Donaldson) and Everett B. Mobley of Kennett. Known as Jo, she was active as a child in church and school activities, and played the snare drum in the Kennett Municipal Band.
She attended Monticello College in Illinois, finishing her undergraduate work at the University of Illinois, and completing her masters in childhood education at the University of Southern California. After teaching kindergarten in California, she moved to a position at Iowa State University, training nursery school teachers in a hands-on nursery school program. There she joined the graduate/faculty social club and met Eugene (known as Gene or Fergy) Shallcross Ferguson, an instructor in mechanical engineering. They were married in 1948, and were devoted to each other until his death in 2004.
Jo became a homemaker and mother, active in church education and community activities. In the late 1950s, they lived briefly in Bethesda, Md., while Gene was working as a curator at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of History and Technology, developing exhibits for the Hall of Tools. They returned to Iowa and Iowa State University, where they lived until moving to Delaware in 1969, when Gene received a joint appointment at the Hagley Museum in Wilmington and the University of Delaware in Newark. Jo often invited Gene's graduate students and their families to her home, befriending the wives and becoming an extra "grandmother" to their children. She was active in several book clubs and involved with neighbors and church, and she and Gene enjoyed spending time together at the second home they built on Ocracoke Island in North Carolina. In 2002, she and her husband moved to Quarryville, Pa.
Jo Ferguson is survived by her three children, Judith Ferguson Williams, of Tucson, Ariz., Daniel Eric Ferguson, of Kennett, and David Alan Ferguson, of Sheldrake, N.Y.; two grandchildren, Gabriel Stephen Williams and Amy Marie Williams Herman, both of Tucson, as well as seven nephews and four nieces and their families, and many friends.
A memorial service will be held 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at the Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community, 625 Robert Fulton Highway in Quarryville, PA.
Arrangements by Daniels & Hutchison Funeral Home LLC, Middletown, DE.
On-line condolences may be sent to www.daniels-hutchison.com.