John Kirk Ferguson

April 17, 1935March 22, 2020

John Kirk Ferguson died in Riverside on March 22. He was born on April 17, 1935 in Great Falls, Montana.

His late Father and Mother, Fred and Ruth Ferguson, resided for nearly sixty years in Riverside and are buried in Crestlawn Cemetery’s Masonic Garden, as are his Grandparents, George and Herma Rauenbuehler. Kirk will be buried in an adjacent gravesite.

Kirk’s Brother, Dean, is buried at Riverside National Cemetery. Kirk is survived by Dean’s three Sons: Bruce and his wife, Derrilee, of Lancaster, South Carolina; Scott and his wife, Adriana, and their children, Stephanie and Gabriel, of Coconut Creek, Florida; and Andrew and his wife, Chen, and their children, Angela and John, of Liberty Township, Ohio.

Kirk was a 1953 graduate of Riverside Poly High School and a Charter Student at the University of California at Riverside when the campus opened in February 1954, graduating with a B.A. degree in June 1957.

In 1952, Kirk enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, and after graduating from UCR and the U.S. Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, he received a commission in the U.S. Navy and retired with the rank of Commander. Two highlights of his Naval career include having commanded a unique squadron of twenty Strike Assault Boats on the upper Mekong River and adjacent canals in 1970 during the Vietnam War, and also having served as Commanding Officer of USS FLINT (AE-32), an ammunition ship from 1973 through 1975. Kirk earned sixteen service ribbons and medals, which include the Bronze Star Medal with the Combat “V” device for Valor and the Combat Action Ribbon. He was also the 1989 President of the Riverside March Field Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. Following his retirement from the U.S. Navy in 1981, Kirk worked for General Dynamics as a Design Engineer for the Standard Missile Department at their Pomona, California division until his retirement in 1990.

He has written enumerable U.S. Navy oriented magazine articles, conducted oral histories of World War II Navy veterans, and appeared in History Channel videos.

Kirk was a Master Mason and Life Member of Riverside Lodge #635, F.&A.M; Riverside Chapter #622, Order of the Eastern Star; 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason; Knight’s Templar in the York Rite of Freemasonry; and an Aloha Temple Shriner of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the world’s largest fraternal philanthropy.


  • Graveside Service Thursday, April 2, 2020


John Kirk Ferguson

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Dr. Daniel Morse

April 6, 2020

That is very disheartening news, and maybe not unexpected. We have been worried about him with all skilled care facilities being barred from visitors during this Covid-19 epidemic. Kirk was a very special person to me, and to so many. He was my "Masonic Coach" back in the early 1980's. We enjoyed much time together through the years, and had conversations about his military experiences, and leadership philosophies. We especially enjoyed the company of his mother when she was alive. Both were a joy. He provided a very steadfast model of care for many of us to follow. A few years ago, my GATE (Gifted And Talented Education) program students honored him with a Veteran's Day comforter and a dinner out at the Mission Inn in Riverside as part of the beginnings of the Quilts of Valor program, especially for his efforts in the recordings and archiving of other veterans' experiences. My Cheryl and I visited him from time-to time at the retirement facility, had lunch with him, and was such a joy to be around. His stories were mesmerizing. We shared many of our experiences with the Shriner's hospital activities and the students I was sponsoring in, as well as so many other Masonic activities in the area. His counseling and advise was always rock solid. The staff and guests at the Retirement Center seriously admired and really cherished "The Captain". He will be very much missed and remembered.
We would very much like to attend in any memorials and services for this remarkable man.

Kathy & Dwight Seely

April 4, 2020

I would like to send condolences to Kirk's family. My family, has fond memories of Kirk, all the way back to the late 1950's. My deceased parent's, Frank & Helen Douglas, were good friends of Kirk's parents. They were also members of the Masons & Eastern Star in Riverside.
Kirk was such a good person. He had a wonderful sense of humor & could tell great stories of his Navy years.
My sister, Janet Brookshier & I will miss him.
Kathy (Douglas) Seely