Keith Arthur Ferguson, fondly called Jinx, was born in Roblin, Manitoba on August 5, 1949. Keith came into this world just moments before his twin brother Kelly. Despite being older, Keith became the honourary baby of the family because he was much smaller than his twin. “Little” brother was a role he took very seriously, carrying half a pail of water while his brother carried a full pail and hauling half as much wood for the fire as Kelly. Keith also had an older sister, Bonnie, who loved him dearly, and an older brother Verlyn, on whom he and Kelly would occasionally play a prank or two.
Keith played baseball as a child and he absolutely loved watching and playing hockey. He played with the Lignum Lumber Kings, the Williams Lake Old Timers, Noon-hour hockey, and even regular pick-up hockey. As a teen, Keith spent many weekends in San Clara where he learned to jig – a dance he loved and managed to dance to at his daughter’s wedding in 2009, much to the delight of all his family and friends.
After Keith finished school he eventually made his way to Williams Lake with his childhood friend, Bobby (Hobo) Peats and started his 35 year career with Lignum Sawmill. Keith stayed with his cousins Beatrice and Ed Walters and had continued support from them and his other family Bob and Dodie Kelso. Williams Lake is also where he met the love of his life, Monica Penney. Keith and Monica were married in
1983, purchased their home on Resker Place, and in 1987 were blessed with the birth of their only child, Haley Marie. In 1992, Keith and Monica expanded their home to a piece of land on Quesnel Lake where they spent a lot of time camping and fishing and eventually built their retirement home.
Keith was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in May 2006 and was off the job a year later. He looked at his “disability” as early retirement and continued to have a positive
outlook on life. Keith always enjoyed and appreciated the time spent with his family and friends and the support they gave him as his illness progressed.
Keith attended Mass regularly with Monica and chose to be baptized when invited by Father Andrew in 2010. In February of the next year, Keith entered into the family of
Christ, with baptism, first holy communion and confirmation.
In 2013, after his first grandson, Emmett, was born, the disease began to progress. He attended the Adult Day Program at Deni House for a time, and thanks to Monica and his full-time caregivers, was able to retire to their home on Quesnel Lake in May 2015. In January this year, Keith went into residential care at Fischer Place in 100 Mile House. Soon after he lost his speech, then the ability to walk and eventually the ability to eat. Keith passed away peacefully at 3:00pm on Friday June 24th, 2016 with Monica by his side and Haley with them on the phone.
Keith is survived by his wife Monica, daughter Haley, her husband Nigel and grandson Emmett Engel. His mother Evelyn, sister Bonnie (Arnold) Langan, brothers Verlyn
(Theresa), and Kelly (Ellen). His Mother-in-law Constance Penney, sisters-in-law Barbara Penney, Debra (Brent) Rosse, and brother-in-law Mark (Micki) Penney along with many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Haley and Monica wish to thank Dr. McMahen for taking Keith on when no one else was available. Dr. Longland in Williams Lake and Dr. Mthandazo in 100 Mile House, Dr. Whitman, Dr. Ruane, Suzie, and Lisa at Sr. Mental Health, the Fischer Place Staff – Thank you. A special thank you goes out to all of Keith’s caregivers but especially Anne and Presy and to their neighbours at the lake, Pam and Wyn Parry and Barbara and Lawrence Derkatch. To Bob and Pat Peats and all Keith and Monica’s friends, families, co-workers and their Sacred Heart family – Thank you! You have all walked with them side by side through this incredible journey and without your support they would not have had the strength to persevere. Thank you and God Bless each of you.