Published in The Washington Post on Sept. 10, 2017
PATRICIA "Patti" FERGUSON (1929 - 2017)
Patricia H. Ferguson of Santa Fe, New Mexico, died on
Thursday, August 17, 2017, of congestive heart failure.
She was born in Lockport New York on August 25,
1929, the daughter of Richard Savely Head and
Virginia (Buterbaugh) Head. A younger brother,
Robert Head of Houston TX, predeceased her in 2006.
"Patti" spent her early years in Brooklyn New York,
moving to Falls Church, Virginia in her teens. She
attended Western High School in Washington,
DC, graduating in 1946.
At Western High School, while interviewing area students for a radio program, she met
her future husband, Glenn W. Ferguson (Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '46). They dated
through college. Mrs. Ferguson graduated from Mary Washington College (now University
of Mary Washington) June 1950 and married in that month. Mrs. Ferguson shared her
husband's diverse career in United States government, academic and non-profit work.
She accompanied him to the Philippines during the Korean War and subsequently lived
overseas in Thailand (with the Peace Corps 1961-63), Kenya (where Mr. Ferguson was
US Ambassador 1966-69), Munich (RFE-RL 1978-82) and Paris, where Mr. Ferguson
was President of the American University of Paris (1992-94.) While her husband served
as President of the University of Connecticut (1973-78), Mrs. Ferguson earned her MA in
She helped develop and fund Juniper Hill retirement center, now the Mansfield Retirement
Center, on the board of which she served 20 years later. Mrs. Ferguson volunteered with
the International Refugee Committee in Bangkok in 1980, and in 1987 spent several
months in Niamey, Niger as a consultant for VOCA, assisting a cooperative for local
The Fergusons owned a home in Westerly Rhode Island, where Mrs. Ferguson served on
the board of the Westerly Land Trust, for more than 20 years. In 1998, they moved to
Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mrs. Ferguson then served on the boards of Aid to Artisans,
Cornerstones preservation group, and the Governor's Mansion Foundation. Mrs.
Ferguson cheerfully moved her household more than 20 times in her married life.
A tireless and intrepid traveler, she climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro twice. In the last two years
before her death she visited Cuba, Mexico, the Panama Canal, UAE, the south Pacific,
Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Namibia.
Glenn Ferguson died in Santa Fe in December 2007. Mrs. Ferguson moved from her
home near Bishop's Lodge Rd. to El Castillo late in 2013.
She is survived by her two sons, Bruce W. Ferguson of Great Falls Virginia and AUIS,
Iraq and Scott S. Ferguson of Santa Fe, New Mexico; one daughter, Sherry Ferguson
Zoellick of McLean Virginia; and four grandchildren.
Services were private.Services were private.