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2017-01-12

Henry Rugeley Ferguson

1930 – 2017

Henry Rugeley Ferguson, a cowboy, rancher, capitalist, hunter, friend, beloved father and husband, passed away on Monday, Jan. 2 at the age of 86.
He was born on April 11, 1930, in Houston, Texas to William Brownlee Ferguson Jr. and Mary Le Tulle Rugeley. He attended Sewanee Military Academy, where in his senior year, he was one of six elite cadets on the Battalion Staff. Rugeley attended the University of Texas at Austin where he was a proud member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. In the summer after his fourth year at UT, he was drafted and never returned to finish his degree. He entered the US Army and was stationed at Inchon, Korea in '53-'55. Rugeley was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service and retired in the reserves with a rank of Captain. He returned to Texas and managed the family ranch in Bay City. During this time he became a professional Bronc rider and rode the rodeo circuit. On March 30, 1963, Rugeley married Kittie West Nelson, the love of his life. They had two children, Kittie West Ferguson, November 27, 1963 and Henry Rugeley Ferguson, Jr. December 18, 1964.
Throughout his life, family was his priority but Rugeley had many other interests. He managed Hashknife Ranches consisting of over 20,000 acres of cattle, farming and hunting operations. Conservation and improvement were his priorities. He bred and raised horses and continued riding well into his 60s. Rugeley attended the Bexar County Sherriff's Training Academy to become a Special Texas Ranger. He worked with the Rangers when they had cases in and around San Antonio. Rugeley was a Wedgewood collector. His personal collection is on loan to the San Antonio Museum of Art. He was a hunter but mostly enjoyed taking people hunting. Rugeley became a scuba diver and logged over 100 hours underwater while traveling with his family on their many trips to the Caribbean. He enjoyed to travel, was an artist, loved to talk and laugh. He was a gentleman and met no one that was not a friend.
Rugeley served as a Director of the Texas Agribusiness and Port City Stockyards Companies in Houston, Texas for many years. He was a Director of Scobey Moving and Storage Company in San Antonio for ten years. Rugeley also served on the Boards of the San Antonio Zoological Society as President and Chairman, Southwest Texas Methodist Hospital Foundation as President, Sunshine Cottage School for the Deaf, San Antonio Museum Association, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, Charity Ball Association and the San Antonio Livestock Exposition. He was the co-founder of The Exotic Wildlife Association. Rugeley was a member of the Former Texas Rangers Association, Game Conservation International, San Antonio Country Club, The Argyle Club, Club Giraud, The St. Anthony Club, Petroleum Club of San Antonio, The Order of the Alamo and The San Antonio German Club.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William Brownlee Ferguson Jr. and Mary Le Tulle Rugeley. His beloved brother William Brownlee "Bill" Ferguson III and his wife of 38 years, Kittie West Nelson.
Rugeley is survived by his daughter Kittie West Ferguson; son, Henry Rugeley Ferguson Jr. and wife, Pagent; his grandchildren Reese Payton Ferguson and Presley Ann Ferguson. He was ecstatic to know that he has a grandson on the way.
The Rev. Patrick Gahan officiated at a service Wednesday, Jan. 11 at Christ Episcopal Church. Interment with Military Honors followed in San Antonio at Mission Park South. Pallbearers were Richard Spencer Rowland, Desmond Helme Kittelson, Edward J. Dahl, William D. Chandler, Michael Jureczki and Edward Neihaus.
In lieu of flowers make a donation in his name to the charity of your choice.
You are invited to sign the Guestbook at www.porterloring.com