Marlene Ferguson was born August 23, 1931 at Frazer, Montana to Ed and Nellie (Hoskins) Nelson whom had homesteaded in the North Rock Creek area in McCone County.
Marlene spent the majority of her life in Montana, only leaving for education. She graduated from high School in 1950 from Sheyenne River Academy in North Dakota. She completed her BS in Nursing and Masters in Nursing education in Washington State at Walla Walla College.
Marlene married the love of her life, Robert Ferguson in February 1954. To this union four children were born. The early part of her life was spent raising children as well as tending the livestock by pulling calves, doctoring calves and cows or what ever else needed done. If that was not enough she also helped with whatever family business Bob had going which at the time was custom haying and in that era that meant stacking by hand small square bales that usually weighed 75-100 pounds.
She was able to partially utilize her nursing education when she taught one year each at two different country schools in the area as they had been unable to find a school teacher.
Later in their marriage to make the ranch payments since just raising livestock wasn’t enough they started a heavy equipment construction company. Marlene operated a twin engine Euclid scraper for eight years building dams, roads, leveling land or what ever the farmers, ranchers or BLM needed.
After that Marlene and Bob moved to Fromberg/Bridger area and tried irrigated farming, then added operating an 18-wheeler as a team for five years. While they were in the Fromberg/Bridger area Marlene finally put her nursing degree to work and worked as a nurse at Cedar Wood Villa in Red Lodge for six years, which also meant that when Bob was gone she would have to change the water on whatever field was being irrigated before and after her 12 hour nursing shift. After that she had a personal care home and cared for elderly ladies in her home for six years.
Marlene enjoyed cooking, gardening, interior decorating and of course family and friends. She felt blessed to have been able to be in a picture with all twelve of her great grandchildren this last Memorial Day weekend. We celebrated Marlene’s 85th birthday early at that time as well as the 100th year anniversary since the homesteading of the family ranch by Marlene’s Uncle Charlie.
Marlene was preceded in death by her husband, Bob, her two brothers, Lyle and Lowell Nelson, and her sister, Wanda Whisennand. She leaves behind her four children, eight grand-children and twelve great grand-children, Charlie (Lois) Ferguson, Mandy (Justin) Hoffman, Nathan and Bradie, Missy (Jeff) Schmidt, Mikala, Dillan, Bridger, Cody Ferguson; Bruce (Kim) Ferguson, Sammy Jo (Scott) Twito, Emma, Max, Colt (Hannah) Ferguson; Donnie (Debbie) Ferguson, Kari ( Matt) Buechler, Tryston, William, Myrl, Rob (Nikki) Ferguson, Laine, Haven, Kristy (Travis) Berckmoes; Dianna Ferguson; sister-in-law’s Lenora Nelson, Arladell (Nelson) Speyer and Evelyn (Ferguson)Thomas, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
The funeral services will be held Friday July 22 at 11:00 at the family ranch at Bruce Ferguson’s south of Fort Peck. To get to the ranch turn west off of Hwy 24 between mile markers 31 and 32, go approx. 2 ½ miles to their house on the hill.