Services for George Chadwick “Chad” Ferguson, 65, of Eagle Lake were held Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. at Henneke Funeral Home in Columbus.

Visitation was held at Henneke Funeral Home Saturday, Feb. 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. and also Sunday from 1 to 2 p.m.

Ferguson died Feb. 4 after a short battle with cancer. He was born Jan. 12, 1954, in Wynne, Ark., the son of George William and Orea Lofton Ferguson. Ferguson was united in marriage with Ramona Kay Bufkin on Aug. 23, 1974, in Richardson.

He began his newspaper career at the age of 10 when he was a paperboy for The Brazosport Facts and later shared a sports column at the age of 12 with his father, George, who was sports editor of the newspaper.

And that was the beginning of his career that has spanned up until his death.

He later covered Little League sports for the Altus Times-Democrat (Okla.) between his freshman and sophomore years in high school, and later returned to that newspaper after graduation from J.J. Pearce High School in 1972 in Richardson to cover the Altus Junior College baseball team where he attended school on an athletic scholarship.

His baseball coach there was Glenn Royal, brother of legendary UT football coach, Darrell. Prior to his first day of college, he was a member of a Dallas summer baseball team that played in the Connie Mack World Series in 1972.

Ferguson never earned a college degree, as he quit college to take the full-time sports editor’s position with the Richardson Daily News.

After a six-year stint there, he became news editor of the Seminole Sentinel in 1978, where he was able to work under someone he considered a true mentor and longtime friend, Marshall Day.

It was Day who bestowed upon Ferguson the many other facets of the newspaper industry — especially the advertising side, or the dollars and cents, of his profession.

After three years, Ferguson moved to Alvin where he was managing editor of the Alvin Sun and Alvin Advertiser, which was owned by Hartman Newspapers.

After a brief stint there, he chose to leave the newspaper industry and went to work for a company in College Station that helped produce athletic programs for Texas A&M University, as well as create and publish a statewide 4-H magazine.

That didn’t last long, however, as he quickly returned to his first love, which was newspaper publishing, as managing editor and advertising sales representative of the Lufkin Advertiser, which was under the co-ownership of Alvin Holley.

It was in 1985 that Ferguson moved to Columbus to join his father and cousin, Phil, in a startup newspaper, the Banner Press Newspaper, covering Austin, Colorado and Fayette counties, with a motto of “Your Tri-County Source for News and Sports.”

He and his wife, Ramona “Bebo,” became part owners of the newspaper in 1988.

Since his days in Columbus, the newspaper has won numerous awards sponsored by the Texas Press Association (TPA), South Texas Press Association (STPA) and Texas Gulf Coast Press Association (TGCPA).

Ferguson was president of the STPA 2000-2001 and TGCPA 2011-2012, and served on both boards as assistant to the president until his death.

He served as TPA president 2011-2012.

In 2009, the Texas Girls Coaches Association honored Ferguson as its Sports Writer of the Year for a second time. He also was the recipient of the award in 1992.

He also has been honored by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches as the recipient of its Golden Hoops Award for sports coverage on two occasions — the first following the 1989-90 season and again in 2008.

The Fergusons were honored with the STPA Chester Evans Award in 2013.

Ferguson also was a longtime member of the Texas Sports Writers Association, where he actively did his best to promote athletes from the tri-county coverage area.

He was also a former member of the Lions Club.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Butch Buchanan.

Survivors include his wife; son, Christopher Chadwick Ferguson and wife Lina of Eagle Lake; daughter, London Ferguson Webb of Eagle Lake; brother, William Bradford “Brad” Ferguson of Eagle Lake; and grandchildren, Dylan Chadwick Ferguson, Hailey Renee Ferguson, Zoey Lynn Ferguson and Rylee Kai Webb, all of Eagle Lake.

Honorary pallbearers will be Jay Eaker, Joe Oslin, Glenn Rea, Sam Tipton, Donnie Rollins, Mark Meeker, Camphouse Crew, newspaper family especially Mary Henkel Judson, coaches, and the numerous lives he touched with his infectious personality.

Memorial contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society or a charity of choice.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Henneke Funeral Home in Columbus.

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Fayette County Record

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