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Elizabeth Hastings Ferguson

Elizabeth Hastings Ferguson
  • September 22, 1919 - September 13, 2012
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Gifts may be made to:
  • Bishop Gadsden Residence Assistance Fund
    One Bishop Gadsden Way
    Charleston, SC 29412
  • Gifts may be made to:
  • Wellesley College
    106 Central Street
    Wellesley, MA 02482

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Memories & Candles

“Tres bien fait, mon Professeur! I will always remember her bright eyes and her polite way of cringing when I was blundering through a pronunciation....Read More »
1 of 19 | Posted by: Adele McHenry-Koenen - Chardon, OH

“Miss Ferguson was one of the most influential teachers during my time at GPUS. She was stern and funny at the same time and had a way of making us...Read More »
2 of 19 | Posted by: Ginny Barnes - Rowayton, CT

“Miss Ferguson gave me so much, not merely the ability to read Latin, but also an appreciation for a body of literature that is increasingly only...Read More »
3 of 19 | Posted by: Elizabeth Wahl - Palo Alto, CA

“Miss Ferguson was a lady, a scholar, and a dedicated teacher. She will be remembered by every student who had the honor of sitting in her classroom. ”
4 of 19 | Posted by: Lynne Randall (Battershell) GPUS Class of 1959 - NE

“I was deeply sadden to hear of the news of my beloved Mentor and friend, Betsy. She was such a beautiful lady, one of a kind. I certainly feel I was...Read More »
5 of 19 | Posted by: Mariela M. Brown - Stuart, FL

Elizabeth (center) with Austen friends, Elaine Henderson and Ann Warren “Elizabeth was a delightful woman, blessed "with every virtue under heaven." She was also a self-described "eccentric" about Jane Austen. Members of...Read More »
6 of 19 | Posted by: Barbara Laughlin Adler - MI

“No doubt about it, Miss Ferguson was my favorite teacher. She hid a mischievous sparkle and energy behind that ladylike exterior--I've often thought...Read More »
7 of 19 | Posted by: Susan (Swan) Drown (GPUS 1969) - AZ

“We got through Cicero and Vergil together. Though the last in a group of AP Latin folks, I got a 3 exempting me from my college language requirement...Read More »
8 of 19 | Posted by: Sandy Coe - RALEIGH, NC - Student

“I was sorry to hear of Betsy Ferguson's passing. I was one of her may Latin students during the 1961-62 school year. I remember those classes quite...Read More »
9 of 19 | Posted by: Al Blixt - student

“Domina Ferguson inspired my middle school life in ways I can hardly articulate. So lively and dramatic was her love of Latin that we "little sevens" ...Read More »
10 of 19 | Posted by: elizabeth goodenough (Satisbona) - MI

“I read with sadness the email announcing the passing of Miss Ferguson, or "Fergie" as we called her outside the classroom and outside of her hearing....Read More »
11 of 19 | Posted by: Meg Van De Graaf Shannon - FL

“My prayers and condolences go to Miss Ferguson's family. As a former student at Grosse Pointe University School, I want you to know what a powerful...Read More »
12 of 19 | Posted by: Marion Pl Shanle - MI - student

“I am one of the Davis Twins, and I loved Miss Ferguson! She made a mark in my heart that will always last....she was such a lady! I loved The Aeneid ...Read More »
13 of 19 | Posted by: Faith Davis Brower - Farmington, MI

“I was never "Fergie's" best Latin student. My language talents were in French and English. In fact, I taught High School English before I attended...Read More »
14 of 19 | Posted by: Alesia Bicknell - Grosse Pointe, MI

“As a student of Miss Ferguson's from 1951-53, I share everyone's grief at her passing. She was the most memorable teacher I ever had. ”
15 of 19 | Posted by: E. Jaynor Johnston (née Johnson) - MI

“She taught me Latin for 5 years. What a wonderful person she was, even though I had no talent for languages.Susie Boone Miller GPUS 1964 ”
16 of 19 | Posted by: A friend

“My condolences to the family. I have the deepest appreciation for all that Betsy did to mentor me as a new Latin teacher at ULS from 1975-1985. I...Read More »
17 of 19 | Posted by: Katie Robinson - San Clemente, CA

“Please accept my heart felt condolences. I was a young teacher when Mrs. Ferguson retired. She was a legend at ULS and I enjoyed seeing her when she...Read More »
18 of 19 | Posted by: Karen R Katanick - Grosse Pointe, MI

“TO MR. NOEL--IT HAS TRULY BEEN A PLEASURE TAKING CARE OF BETSY FOR THE LAST 3 YEARS ON THE DAYSHIFT AT BISHOP GADSDEN. IT HURTS MY HEART THAT SHE IS...Read More »
19 of 19 | Posted by: SONYA L CROMWELL, CNA - SC


Elizabeth Hastings Ferguson, a resident of Bishop Gadsden, died Thursday, September 13, 2012. Elizabeth was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada September 22, 1919. She was the daughter of the late Frederick William Ferguson and Hilda Maud Hastings Ferguson. Although Elizabeth was born in Canada, she was brought to the United States as an infant and was raised primarily in Michigan. She was always an outstanding student with a special aptitude for languages. She graduated at the head of her high school class in Detroit in 1937 and then went to Wellesley College on a scholarship. At Wellesley she graduated in 1941 second in her class and embarked on the life of a Latin teacher. After teaching for one year at Baldwin School in Philadelphia's Main Line, she returned to Michigan. She joined Grosse Pointe Country Day School in 1942. A few years later Country Day, which had only girls, joined it's fellow Detroit University School, which had only boys. The united schools with boys and girls was called Grosse Pointe University School which finally in the 1980's absorbed the Liggett School. It is now University-Liggett. For 43 years, through all those changes, Elizabeth taught Latin and the French and a little Spanish. Only rarely did she have a student who wished to learn Greek. Elizabeth became well known as a teacher and a fixture in Grosse Pointe to which she and her mother moved in 1955. Elizabeth was always a student, earning an MA in classics and then an MA in English at the University of Michigan. When the American Academy in Rome reopened in 1947 after the Second World War, Elizabeth went to it for the summer. In 1954 she spent a summer at the American School in Athens. At another time she studied French at Dijon and she spent several summers at different colleges in the U.S. and Europe.

She loved walking and did some walking tours in England. She loved Sidmouth in England where she stayed many times. Elizabeth (or Betsy) was not like everyone else. Her fellow residents at Bishop Gadsden remember seeing her walking (with perfect posture) in hat and gloves. As she was retiring at the end of her long career at her school, she spoke to the headmaster about a replacement. Elizabeth said that it is always helpful for a teacher to be a bit of a character, but it is essential for a Latin teacher to be one and she was.

In 1999 Elizabeth, a lifelong and active Episcopalian, moved to Bishop Gadsden in Charleston where her brother Noel and his wife Faith had already moved. Betsy loved Bishop Gadsden, although she usually went to England or Europe each summer for a few weeks. She made her last trip abroad in 2007. During 2009 she slipped into Alzheimer's and she had the best of care for the last three years. Elizabeth is survived by her brother, Noel of Bishop Gadsden; nephew, Thomas (and his wife Abby) of New York and her two great nephews, David of Philadelphia and Ian of Boston.

A memorial service will be held at the Bishop Gadsden Chapel at 2 pm, Friday, the 21st, with later interment in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.

Gifts may be made to the Bishop Gadsden, Resident Assistance Fund, One Bishop Gadsden Way, Charleston, SC, 29412 or to Wellesley College, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02482.

Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc., Downtown Chapel.