Cover photo for Jay L. Ferguson's Obituary
Jay L. Ferguson Profile Photo
1936 Jay 2014

Jay L. Ferguson

March 28, 1936 — October 30, 2014

Jay Lee Ferguson, 78, of Newton, KS was killed in a tragic accident at Flight Safety International, Wichita, KS on Thursday, October 30, 2014.

He was born on March 28, 1936 in Monett, MO, the son of James Roy and Selena Itrice Ferguson. Jay attended public schools in Monett and Tulsa, graduating from Will Rogers High School, Tulsa, OK in 1954. He earned his BA in 1963, MA in 1968 and a PHD in 1971, all from the University of Iowa.

Jay taught Biology: at Bethel College in North Newton, KS from 1970-1972; at Coleman Junior High School in Wichita, KS from 1972-1974; at Newton High School from 1975-1979; and at Wichita North High School 1982-1998. In 1997, Jay earned his RN diploma and license through Hutchinson Community College and was a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital in Wichita from 1997-2000. Jay's love of flying began in Iowa City, IA where he soloed in 1960. He later obtained his private pilot's license, ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) License with single and multi-engine ratings, plus CFII (Certified Flight Instructor Instrument). Over the years, Jay worked evenings and weekends as a self-employed flight instructor and charter pilot. He was chief charter pilot at Yingling Aviation, Wichita from 1978-1981. He was Company Pilot for Universal Products in Goddard, KS from 2000-2008. Jay worked at Flight Safety for 29 years; part-time from 1985-2009 and full-time starting in 2010.

In November 2013, Jay was honored with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. This award is presented to pilots that have been associated with Aviation for 50 or more years, flying accident free since their first solo flight. Co-workers described him as being an excellent instructor with an eye for detail, having unbelievable energy, a fun guy with a big heart who was always happy to help others… a wonderful human being. He loved spending time with family and video-taping all his grandkids' activities.

Jay is survived by his wife of 52 years, Thea Ferguson of the home; three daughters, Cathy Woodward of Newton, Jane Sanders and husband Danny of Sterling, CO, and Jill Jantz and husband Ashton of North Newton; two brothers, Gaylon Ferguson and Terry Foster and one sister, Janet Brown all of Tulsa, OK; also by four grandchildren, Lance and Caleb Woodward of Newton and Kyla and Erik Jantz of North Newton.

Jay was preceded in death by his father Roy Ferguson, mother Selena Itrice Ferguson Foster, stepfather Bill Foster and an infant son Paul Kevin Ferguson.

Jay was a member of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Newton, KS where he had served as a Sunday School teacher, Sunday School superintendent, Vestry member and Junior Warden.

Cremation has taken place.

Visitation with the family will be at the St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Newton from 6:30-8:00 pm on Saturday, November 8.

His memorial service will be Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm at St. Matthew's Church with a reception at the church to follow the service. Those attending the service are asked to wear bright colors as we celebrate Jay's life.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to ORBIS, which operates a flying eye hospital. This plane, staffed by volunteers and equipped with an operating room, brings eye surgery to 3rd world countries. Contributions may be sent Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, 120 East Broadway, Newton, Ks. 67114.

Arrangements are by Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, Newton.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jay L. Ferguson, please visit our flower store.


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