James “Jim” Clayton Ferguson (74), beloved husband, father and grandfather of Nashville, TN, passed away on February 20, 2022 after a long and impactful life. He left to be with his Lord and God while surrounded in love by his children and loving wife, Doris.
Jim was born on April 14, 1947, to Marshall Curd Ferguson and Elizabeth Mary Franzle Ferguson in Oak Ridge, TN where his family was engaged in the Manhattan Project for the war effort. In his youth, the family moved to Harlan, KY where he and his two brothers, Raymon “Buddy Ray” and Joe, spent much of their formative years. After Jim graduated from Harlan High School in 1965, he went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Art at Eastern Kentucky University and Master’s Degree in Education at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. He was also a member of the Society of the Descendants of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge and the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
He spent his 41 year career in Education beginning in Middlesboro High School then transferred to Metro Nashville Public Schools as a High School Teacher of Art. “Mr. Ferguson”, as he was affectionately called by his students, knew that not all of the pupils he taught were in his class to become the next Picasso, but he tried to be simply a positive influence in the lives of teenagers and to teach them skills for expression of their creative side. His philosophy and kindness were well recognized by his students. The souls he had in his classroom were a great part of his personal ministry. On May 18, 2007, Jim was honored to represent Nashville Public Schools in Washington, DC at the Power of Art Workshop sponsored by the Lab School of Washington and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. He also enjoyed being the judge at Jim Cooper’s office for the annual art contest.
In 1987, Jim met Doris Duncan for a blind date facilitated by Doris’ sister, Ruby, at the Shoney’s on White Bridge Rd in Nashville, TN. They combined their two families soon after on September 19, 1987 in a wedding ceremony at the fire tower on Sullivan’s Ridge off of Charlotte Pike. The wedding was so unusual that it made the local paper. They went on to guide into adulthood five children, Traci (52), Tim (50), Chris (47), Beth (44), and Jeni (43). They have been blessed to share 18 grandchildren together.
In June of 2010, Jim retired and spent his time helping Doris with her daycare, exploring his books, studying the Bible and spending time with beloved friends and family. In the recent few years Jim began painting kindness rocks. These are small painted rocks that are left around town for others to find and keep or re-hide. He was active in many Facebook groups dedicated to the hobby. We ask that in memory of Jim, please paint a kindness rock and leave some inspiration for others. Please share your creations on Facebook and tag Jim Ferguson’s Facebook page and use the hashtag, #JimFergusonRocks.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, Curd Ferguson (2/3/1916 – 9/14/1988), mother, Elizabeth Ferguson (5/6/1921 – 9/14/1975), brother, Raymon Curd Ferguson (11/28/1941 – 1/26/2018), daughter-in-law, Alison Billings Duncan (7/6/1975 – 5/26/2018) and granddaughter, Jane Catherine Linn (5/10/2000 – 5/10/2000). He is survived by his wife, Doris Ferguson, brother, Joe Ferguson, children Traci (Steve) Linn, Timothy (Robin) Ferguson, Chris Duncan, Beth (Jason) Wolf, Jeni Cooper and grandchildren Jacob Linn (25), Hannah Linn (20), Joseph Linn (17), Jonathan Linn (17), Josh Ferguson (20), Ben Ferguson (18), Cooper Gasslander (18), Joseph Grimes (17), Elizabeth Ferguson (7), Tara Duncan (22), Justin Duncan (20), Samuel Wolf (8), Ian Wolf (6), Logan Cooper (17) Sheyenne Cooper (14), and Bailee Cooper (9).
Jim will be laid to rest at Harpeth Hills Memorial Gardens, 9090 TN-100, Nashville, TN, 37221 on February 26, 2022, at 2 pm. The close family will share a private moment at 10 am. The entire Ferguson family invites others to join them in Open Visitation and Celebration of Life beginning at 11am. Funeral Services to follow at 1pm. Masks are encouraged.
In memory of our beloved Jim, the family requests that donations are chosen in lieu of flowers and that we honor his memory through donation to The Upper Room in Nashville, TN. https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?id=3&name=upperroom