Cover photo for Shirley Ferguson's Obituary
Shirley Ferguson Profile Photo

Shirley Ferguson

January 13, 1938 — November 19, 2023

Shirley Ferguson

* * * A recording of the service was previously found at the end of this write-up and at the family's request at the time of the service, has been removed, January 1, 2024. * * *

Shirley Ferguson, 85, of Atlantic, passed into her Eternal Home early Sunday morning, November 19, 2023, at Atlantic Specialty Care.

Lee and Ruth McElwee Blackford were chosen by God to be parents of Shirley Jean, born January 13, 1938, in Maryville, Missouri.  Shirley was the only child of Lee and Ruth and was spoiled with love!  As a young lady, she was baptized in the Baptist Church in Clearmont, Missouri, on June 28, 1951, and enjoyed her time with an active Youth Group there.

Once upon a time, there was a tall, good looking young man that stopped by and said, "Hey Babe, you want to ride in my super fast Model A?"  From that moment on, she was smitten!  On August 24, 1957, she was united in marriage to her high school sweetheart, Richard "Dick" Ferguson.  He was the love of her life!  Right away, they started married life in Atlantic, Iowa.  This union brought two precious children, Tammie and Kevin.  Later, she worked nine years as secretary of Lincoln School.  Shirley and Dick started, owned and operated the locally popular, La Casa Grande and La Grande Cup for 20 years.

Never one to sit still for long, Shirley spent much time volunteering.  She was a Girl Scout Leader; active with the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce and Questers; and served with the CCMH Auxiliary and Meals on Wheels.  She was vitally involved with the GracePoint Church of Atlantic, teaching women's Bible studies; on the Missions Board; and heading up many meals and funeral luncheons.  She also worked tirelessly with her friend, Treva Turpin, coordinating many women's retreats and working in the kitchen for Bethany Farm Camp in Brayton, Iowa.  Shirley was a Born Again Christian; her faith never stopped growing and becoming more beautiful with each passing year.

Any time with family was a highlight and so important to her, especially time with grandchildren.  She always felt fortunate that they grew up close by.  Beyond all her volunteering, she was known among family and friends as "Shirley's Taxi Service" and was especially ready to cart the grandkids where they needed to go for all occasions.  One day she had all five children with her and wanted to get them each a treat - hours later she had driven all over town making five different stops to find the exact treat each was longing for.  The kids loved to eat at the restaurant, making short work of the tacos, crispos and ice cream cones (from the soft serve machine that Pappa Dick "bought for them”).  Countless summers were played away at "Grandma's Park" just down Olive Street from her home.  They enjoyed picnics, parades, putting on plays (especially acting out Beauty and the Beast in the park, with Kevin playing the part of the Beast), and special trips to the zoo and State Fair.  The most memorable trip was to Walt Disney World with the entire family.

Left to cherish Shirley’s memory are her family that includes her daughter, Tammie (Mike) Cass of Atlantic and their children, Kelsie (Adam) Kralik of Atlantic and  Christopher (Jenna) Cass of Bondurant, IA; son, Kevin (Cyndi) Ferguson of Atlantic and their children, Shelbie (Andrew) Moen of Marion, IA, Andrew (Katy) Ferguson of Republic, MO, and Jenna (fiancé Kyle) Ferguson of Wiota, IA; and great-grandchildren, Bentley Ferguson, Colt Ferguson, Maylee Ferguson, Kayleigh Cass, and Kashten Kralik.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Dick Ferguson; her parents, Lee and Ruth Blackford; and her parents-in-law, Paul and Aileen Ferguson.

Visitation with family present will be held on Thursday, November 30th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at GracePoint Church in Atlantic. 

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Friday, December 1st at 10:30 a.m. at GracePoint Church, with Pastor Don McLean officiating.  A private family burial will be at the Atlantic Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the family for later designation to Shirley’s favorite charities.

Roland Funeral Service of Atlantic, Iowa is caring for Shirley's family and her arrangements.  Condolences may be left at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Ferguson, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation with Family Present

Thursday, November 30, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life Memorial Service

Friday, December 1, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am

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Private Family Burial

Friday, December 1, 2023

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