OBITUARY

Bruce Robert FERKO

September 21, 1956January 28, 2021

On January 28, 2021, Bruce Robert Ferko passed away at Tucson Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona of complications from COVID-19; he was 64 years old. He was preceded in death by his mother, Barbara Robertson Ferko and his father, George Clarence Ferko, both of Titusville, PA. He is survived by his adorable Scottish Terriers, Holly and Tartan, who are missing him dearly but adjusting to their new home with Bruce's best friend. Bruce was born on September 21, 1956 in Kenmore, New York. He attended North Tonawanda High School, where he loved and actively participated in the school's drama program and varsity swim team. He was a top-ranked swimmer in The Buffalo, NY area and was always a great asset to his team. Following in his Mother’s footsteps, Bruce pursued a career as an Educator, touching the lives of hundreds of elementary school students in Pinellas County, Florida, in the Dallas area and finally in Tucson. After being nominated seven times for Teacher of the Year in Dallas, Bruce received this distinction at the San Jacinto Elementary School in 2011. Many of his classes received the “Star of Distinction” designation for their high performances in standardized testing. In December 2019, Bruce moved to Tucson and was teaching third grade at Dunham Elementary School. Bruce attended Thiel College and graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Elementary Education and was a distinguished member of the Phi Delta Kappa Educational Honor Society. He then received his Master's Degree as a Reading Specialist from the University of New York at Buffalo. In 2003, he earned a second Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with emphasis in ESL Education from Texas A&M Commerce. At the time of his passing, Bruce was enrolled at A&M taking courses toward the completion of his Doctorate Degree Bruce had a very strong faith and was an active member at Central Lutheran Church in Dallas. During his time there, he assisted with creating the curriculum and teaching at the Vacation Bible School each summer. He also instituted and oversaw the annual “Back to School Bash” which provided backpacks and school supplies to more than 250 needy children in the community. Additionally, Bruce created and supervised the “Kids Club” which provided after school tutoring to students in the local community. After his move to Tucson, he became a member of Tanque Verde Lutheran Church. In addition to his lifelong love of learning and educating others, Bruce was a dog lover and he co-founded Scottie Kingdom Rescue, a non-profit animal rescue organization dedicated to caring for and finding forever homes for Scottish Terriers throughout Northern Texas and Oklahoma. He was a passionate performer in theater and chorale groups, performing with the Turtle Creek Chorale in Dallas for over 20 years and most recently as a member of the Reveille Men's Chorus in Tucson. Bruce was also an avid bowler and participated in numerous bowling leagues in Dallas. He was easily identified by his Green Bay Packers bowling ball and bag, which was just one outward indicator of his fanatical love of the Packers. An online Celebration of Life for Bruce is being planned and details will be posted on this site as they evolve. During this celebration, it is hoped that attendees will share their memories and funny stories of Bruce. His wishes are to have his ashes scattered, half at his parent’s gravesites in Canada and the other half in Scotland. In lieu of flowers, tax deductible donations can be made to Turtle Creek Chorale in Dallas: https://turtlecreekchorale.secure.force.com/donate.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Bruce Robert FERKO

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Jane Fletcher

July 24, 2021

I met Bruce when we were in the Masters program at Texas A&M and he became my partner on our dissertation. I feel stunned to find out he’s gone, he was a good man, with a good heart, and great love for people and especially dogs. Rest in peace, Bruce. You are so missed.

Dylan Johnson

May 12, 2021

He was my 5th grade teacher,a huge Green Bay fan hate to find out that he passed

Bruce Benoist

April 13, 2021

I got to know Bruce through my granddaughter, he was her teacher here in Tucson, he was a great educator, he brought my granddaughter out of the shadows of trying to be the kid hiding so as not to be called upon, she has excelled, in her class participating and grades, Bruce had the kindness and patience of an angel,
We would chat together about his (Schooler's) as he referred to the children, I am great ful that I got to know Bruce if even for a short time.
He just had a way of touching one's heart.
RIP Bruce Ferko
B. M. Benoist
Tucson Az.

Sheryl Jablonski Hoopes

February 15, 2021

I just now heard about Bruce's passing and I am shocked. We were childhood friends (he referred to me as his first girlfriend) who reconnected through social media a few years ago. Memories? Oh, so many. Rolling down his backyard hill in metal garbage cans. Playing follow the leader at Dickie's house (Bruce was there when my saddle shoe got stuck going over a picket fence and I caught a nail close to my eye). Being in classes together at Hoover Elementary and Jr. High before they moved away after 9th grade. Singing in chorus. His wonderful mother with her beautiful smile. Our love of Scottish Terriers. Irony popped up when we realized we had both become reading specialists. God speed, my old friend. Please give your mom a hug for me.

Doug Meekins

February 13, 2021

Bruce
Reading all of these memories written by others it doesn't surprise me that you were able to have such a positive impact on so many lives. I am so very glad that God brought us back together again. I have so enjoyed staying in touch with you the last couple of years. I will never forget your beautiful smile, your laugh, and your being able to lift me up when I needed it. Thanks too for the back walks. It's sore today which immediately made me think of you my wonderful college roommate. Until we meet again RIP, brother.
Love, Doug

Meghan Hutchings

February 12, 2021

I just learned of this inspirational, life-changing new angel in Heaven. My heart breaks, but I also smile inside as I remember the influence Bruce had on all the children and adults he worked with. I taught with him when he was in Garland, TX, and every life he touched has forever been changed for the better! God bless you, Bruce! May your loving and generous heart Rest In Peace.
Love Always,
Meghan Hutchings

Dawn Rada

February 12, 2021

I only got to see you a few times in person but I know the kids loved you! Thank you for everything you did to help children. Reading these messages tells me so much about your love for teaching, Scotties and football! Rest in Paradise.

Danielle Cooper

February 11, 2021

I worked with Ferk, as I called him in Desoto ISD. We were both 5th grade math teachers and I must say, I learned so much from him. He was so light hearted and fun to be around. I recall a time that our team dressed up in choir robes and marched around the school singing hymnals and Ferk was the director. We laughed so hard. During football season we were frenemies because I am a Cowboys fan and of course he was a cheese head. We had so many good times and conversations, I will truly miss him! Rest easy my friend!

Myla Wilson

February 11, 2021

Mr Ferko taught my son 5th grade math. My son loved his class and excelled . My son, Eric missed only one math question on the TX state math test that year. He was a wonderful person who cared about his students. Thank you and Rest in love

Cassandra Hunt

February 11, 2021

So glad I was able to work with you. You were funny and amazing with the kids. You left a legacy and will be greatly missed.

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