Olive Virginia Ferguson
Olive Virginia Stephenson was born on September 14, 1944, to Lester and Edna Stephenson in Mount Carey, Jamaica. Her early life and cheerfulness earned her the pet name, Blossom, by which she was known and called throughout her early years.
Olive’s early educational training can be credited to her years at Anchovy Elementary School in Saint James, Jamaica, and her involvement in the faith-building programs of the Mount Carey Seventh-day Adventist Church. In 1960, the Stephenson family made a revolutionary educational decision and Olive was sent off to the high school department of West Indies College (now known as Northern Caribbean University) in Mandeville, Jamaica. After her education, she navigated her way to Kingston, Jamaica, where she joined the Jamaica civil service in the Ministry of Homeland Affairs. It was during her time in Kingston that Olive met and married Robert Ferguson in 1970, and they then relocated back to Mount Carey where Olive continued her civil service in the Ministry of Local Governments in Montego Bay.
In 1978, Olive reaffirmed her commitment to the Lord at the Mount Carey Seventh-day Adventist Church. She was devoted to pioneer work at a young church in Chester Castle, Hanover, Jamaica. The year 1979 brought major changes to the Ferguson family as they migrated from Jamaica to the United States and established residency in Brooklyn, NY. The challenges of New York City did not prevent her from advancing her educational pursuits. When the family relocated to Pleasant Hope, Missouri, in 1984, Olive embraced her new career of nursing.
Olive was deeply involved in church work all her life and had a passion for Sabbath School work. That zeal continued and expanded to include prison ministry when she and Robert relocated to Florida in 1987, first to the Fort Lauderdale area and the Lauderhill Seventh-day Adventist Church for 20 years; and then, in 2005, when they moved from the east coast of Florida to the west coast of Florida.
Olive continued to embrace the urgency of preparing for the coming of the Lord as Robert became the lay pastor of the Fort Myers Shores Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2006. During her later years of life, she continued to be devoted to the service of her Lord as she embraced membership at the Punta Gorda Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2018 until the time of her death, Saturday July 11, 2020.
Olive’s (or, if you will, Blossom’s) 75 years of sojourning planet earth, and particularly her 51 years of marriage with Robert, yielded many precious memories. She has lived or visited some places that became incredibly special to her. As a child, she made several visits to Success, Hanover (Jamaica). She was always excited to visit her grandfather in Friendship, Hanover. Later in life, it was her joy to make a stop in Hopewell, Hanover, where she always purchased a special loaf of bread. Also pivotal to her memories would be her time living in Pleasant Hope, MO. These earthly places were but waymarks on her journey to the brighter and better place of her hope of heaven.
One of Olive’s favorite songs expresses what we imagine was her sentiment as earth’s chapter of her life was being closed on Saturday July 11, 2020.
This world is not my home I’m just a-passing through;
If heaven’s not my home, then Lord what would I do?
The angels beckon me from heavens open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.
Olive is survived by husband: Robert; sons, Richard and Kennard; sisters, Wendy, Lorna and Grace;brothers, Aston, Winston, Dalington, and Raymond; ten grandchildren; a great grandchild; and many nieces and nephews. Whether we called her Honey, Mom, Grandma, Olive, Blossom, Aunt Olive, Aunt Bloss, Miss Olive, Sister Ferguson or friend, we refer to the same cheerful person who is and will be greatly missed. We do not say “goodbye”, neither do we say “fare ye well”, but we simply say “goodnight” for we shall meet on that great morning.
Memorial Services will be held 11:00 AM Sunday, July 26, 2020 at Punta Gorda Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 1655 Taylor Road, Punta Gorda, FL 33980 with Pastor Roger Lucas, PhD officiating.
Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.