In Memory

Joseph Ferry

Joseph V. Ferry passed away in Bellingham on Tuesday, January 20, at 10:15 am.  He was born on December 18, 1919 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In his youth, Joe hitched rides, rode freight trains and pitched camps from Massachusetts to Mexico and back. He served in the Civilian Conservation Corps in New Hampshire working both as a clerk and in the field on various projects. In 1945 Joe graduated from Salem Teachers College and began his long career as a teacher. He started here in the U.S., teaching high school for 8 years in Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Joe continued teaching with the Department of Defense as an education advisor for troops in post-occupation Japan for 4 and a half years, later guiding military dependents "on-base" as a high school teacher in Germany, France, Libya and Japan for 28 years.

During Joe's remarkable, adventurous life of hitchhiking, train hopping, world travel and service, he drove stick shift, fought forest fires in Nevada and was able to type 50 wpm on a mechanical typewriter; he did all these things literally "singlehanded"- a congenital birth defect prevented the use of his right arm.

Joe was a dedicated husband, a devoted father, a great friend, and an inspiration to generations of students across the globe. Joe said the highlights of his life were: "the decades in the field of education in the US and abroad; the friends I made along the way; meeting and marrying my wonderful Japanese wife; and my daughter who was made in France, born in Libya and raised in Japan."

His funeral service was held on January 30th at 1pm at Moles Farewell Tributes - Greenacres in Ferndale, WA.

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02/05/15 05:59 PM #1    

Valerie Krantz (Hibner) (1978)

I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Ferrys passing. He was a special teacher that I have always remembered after all these years. My condolences to his family. There is now another angel in heaven.

02/06/15 11:29 AM #2    

Ben Clift

Joe Ferry was truly a gentleman. I thught with him for several years in the Business Education Department at Zama American High School in the late 60's and 70's. I am sorry to hear of his death. Condolences to his lovely wife and daughter. Ben Clift

02/06/15 07:19 PM #3    

Dr. Barbara Kline (Taylor)

I too taught with Joe Ferry in the mid 70's and have remained friends with him ever since.  When I didn't hear from him this Christmas, I was worried that something had happened to him.  I am so sorry to learn of his passing.  My heartfelt sympathies go out to Kimi.  Barbara Kline Taylor

02/07/15 09:47 PM #4    

Dennis Parlante

Joe Ferry was such a fine, gentle soul. I taught with Joe at Zama High School for a few years in the early 70s and I remember him as always being professional, kind, and supportive. He was liked by both students and faculty and he will be missed by all who knew him. RIP Joe. 

02/08/15 07:16 AM #5    

Michele Barsodi (Takei)

Joe was coordinator  and I was his assistant for  a major Zama Army Headquarters cultural community - school project in 1975. What a joy to work with him during those months!  As I  was always rushing around doing this and that for this project, he was always saying to me with a smile in Italian "Michele, piano, piano" meaning "softly, softly."  His helpfulness and understanding with the students in high school were appreciated by them. I  know that his family members have a treasure chest of happy memories as well as those who worked with him. My condolences to his family. Sincerely,Mrs. Michele Barsodi - Takei

02/17/15 10:57 AM #6    

Judie Sherwood (Fogle) (1971)

   Mr Ferry and I have exchanged Christmas cards since I came back to the States in 1968.  We just quit 2 years ago when he and his wife went to live in a condo.  I'll bet his address book was h-u-g-e!   :)  He was such a kind man, a great teacher, and he loved to tell jokes!   I always felt like all was OK as long as I got his card. I knew he had moved when I didn't get one. I did track him down, though, through his daughter.  She was as sweet as he was.  :)  I hope she's doing ok.  My door is always open. 

  Mr Ferry tried to teach Business to my brother, and taught me the next year.  When he saw my last name, he told me he thought, "uh-oh..." because my brother was not exactly a dedicated student.  I was, though, and we formed a bond.  I have thought about him frequently during my life, especially when I balanced my checkbook or wrote a check.  How many times was that?!?!    

  When my brother passed away unexpectedly in 1999, I called to tell Mr Ferry, and he sent me a beautiful card with his sympathy.  Until then I had not spoken to him in all the years we had both been back in the USA.  I spoke to him again a couple years ago when he moved and was not sending Christmas cards anymore.  He told me all about the condo and what it had been before.  He was still sharp as a tack!  :)  He was just awesome!  

God bless you, Mr Ferry.  Keep telling jokes in Heaven!


Judie Sherwood Fogle





02/20/15 10:22 AM #7    

Andy David (David) (1982)

I think we all took his typing classes. I really had no knack for it. He made us all look like amateurs.

03/18/15 06:58 PM #8    

Daniel Case (1982)

He was enormously kind to me...even when he was so enormously frustrated by my really bad typing. A good man.

03/20/15 12:24 AM #9    

Debbie Alcazar (1991)

Today, I was speaking to a colleague of mine and mentioned Mr. Ferry.  It was definitely out of the blue that I would mention his name and at the end of the day (today) to check my work e-mail to learn that he has passed on.  Mr. Ferry was a very kind and warm hearted man.  I remember moving to Zama as an 8th Grader and him welcoming me into his class.  As I returned to work at Zama High School as an adult, Mr. Schulte would share stories involving Mr. Ferry.  Mr. Ferry was such a kind soul and always had a smile on his face.  RIP Mr. Ferry. 

11/24/18 12:22 PM #10    

Robert Inman (1968)

Thank God for his typing class. I used the computer all my later working life. Without his dedicated teaching of typing, to a less that steller typing student, I would never have gotten through university, let alone heald down a state government job in health care for more than 25 years. He was a great teacher; God bless him and his family.

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