John Ferris
John Ferris

Obituary of John Ferris

John Gordon Ferris age 85 died on July 6, 2018 at the NYS Veterans Home in Batavia.  He was born on April 13, 1933 in Albion, a son of the late Dewey and Beatrice (Wetherbee) Ferris of Barre Center.  Before his 9th birthday both of his parents had died and for many years he lived with his aunt and uncle Magda and Curtis Parker of Barre Center.  Later he lived with another aunt, Eola Wetherbee also of Barre Center.

At an early age it was evident that John had a special gift for music, particularly singing.  He was in many operettas, recitals, and theatrical productions throughout his school days and beyond.  He was a popular soloist for weddings and a soloist in many Buffalo area churches.  John had served in the US Army from 1954-1956 and he was chosen to join the 5th Infantry Division Chorus called the “Red Diamond Chorus” and was a tenor soloist as they traveled through Germany spreading good will.

He graduated from the University of Buffalo with a Master’s Degree in English and taught high school English in the Williamsville School system for 34 years.  For many years he coordinated travel study programs for American doctoral students in foreign countries, particularly the Dominican Republic.

John was a lifelong member of the Barre Center Presbyterian Church, serving as an ordained elder, and for many years on the church manse and grounds committee. He was active in the Orleans County Council of the Arts and served on its board when it opened in 1991.  John loved flowers and wherever he lived he planted a small flower garden to beautify the property.

He is survived by his sister Beverley Reeves; 8 nieces and nephews and many friends.  His sister Jean Elder and his brother Richard Ferris both passed in 2001.

The family will receive friends at the Barre Center Presbyterian Church, 4706 Oak Orchard Rd. (Rte. 98) on Saturday July 28th from 10:00am-11:30am where his Memorial Service will follow at 11:30am.  Burial will be in Mt. Albion Cemetery.  Memorials may be made to the Barre Center Presbyterian Church or to the organization of one’s choice.