Who has more fun than people? In her final years, that was a question Betty bantered with friends and caregivers, usually followed by an unforgettable belly laugh.
The world lost a beautiful soul Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 2:25pm as Betty joined her husband, parents and siblings in Heaven.
Betty Armista Ferguson was born on November 11, 1926 (Armistice Day) to Eva Alice (Highfill) & Clifford Leo Ferguson in Wood River, Illinois. After graduating from Roxana High School, Betty won a modeling course and modeled junior fashions in St. Louis. From there she went to work for Near East Air Transport as a hostess in Europe. Traveling the globe in her twenties, Betty was based in Nicosia, Cyprus but also lived in Rome and Hong Kong. Betty traveled to 32 countries, spending considerable time in 20. She bought a little Maltese in Cyprus that often traveled with her. On two separate occasions her crew canceled scheduled flights due to conditions. Substitute crews crashed and were killed in each case.
Betty married James Hanley McSherry in Roxana, IL on Oct. 1, 1954. Together they raised three daughters: Susan, Teri & Tracy. They also raised, showed & bred AKC registered Old English Sheepdogs(Shagland’s Kennels) in the 1960’s. In the mid to late 70’s they owned and operated the Jeri Lynn Figure Salon in Carbondale until Jim’s untimely death in 1980. Betty’s love for dogs never waivered but she did downsize from Sheepdogs to Shih Tzu’s, always having at least one as her constant companion.
The Long Goodbye for Betty began a decade ago when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She was able to maintain her independence for several years with minimal oversight. Five years ago, Betty became one of the first residents at The Anchor Memory Care in Marion. For those that loved and cared for her with sincere compassion, we are eternally grateful. Betty was able to come home to Herrin for her final nine days on earth. She was at peace. Betty leaves behind three daughters: Susan McSherry from Harrison, AR, Teri McSherry & husband, Kim Curlee from Cobden & Tracy McSherry-McKown & husband, Kent McKown from Herrin. Two bonus granddaughters: Bailey Layne (Bryce) from St. Louis, MO and Shelby McKown from Murphysboro. One niece, Kathy (John) Mills, great niece, Hilary (Brian) Chasteen and great-great niece & nephews, Paige, Jackson & Logan Kannall and shih tzu, Boopsie. She was proceeded in death by her husband & parents, her sister, Eva Alice, Jr. and her brother Clifford, Jr.
Betty was a compassionate Christian, always ready to lend a hand. She made friends easily and has left a positive impact on all who had the pleasure of getting to know her. She loved to sing and in her later years, it was often her only way to communicate.
A time of visitation will be held on Monday, July 5,2021 from 5-7pm at Johnson Hughes Funeral Home in Herrin. Private graveside services will be held on Tuesday at East Lawn Memorial Gardens in Energy. To sign the memorial guest register, please visit www.hughesfuneralhomes.com
Betty wouldn’t say good-bye, she’d say, “See ya later, alligator!” You know the rest.