Josephine Florabelle Ferguson-Dorman (known as Jo to most) departed this life peacefully in her home on Sunday, November 13, 2022.
Josephine was born on December 22,1920 in Abingdon, Maryland. She was raised by her mother Maude Beasley Thomas and George Edward Thomas.
Josephine began her education in the Abingdon Colored School. She joined John Wesley United Methodist Church at the age of 17 years old. In early years, she participated in church activities singing in the choir, taking up collection, and helping to clean the church. She was active in many church organizations and events.
In 1942, Josephine married Neal Harry Ferguson. They raised five children together. Jo and Neal were dedicated church workers and taught Sunday School together for several years at John Wesley. Jo later served as a communion steward where she washed and ironed the communion pieces, washed and filled the communion glasses, and helped serve communion every first Sunday for over 50 years. Jo and Neal enjoyed going on church trips and spending time with family and friends.
Josephine’s career began in 1943 during World War II when she worked at Edgewood Arsenal making bombs. She remembered one night when a bombshell went off and all the employees ran out of the building. Some were hurt, but she was able to get out safely. In 1945, another bomb exploded on the jobsite injuring many and killing some people. That particular day, Jo was blessed to be at home on maternity leave. After the war ended, Jo worked at Aberdeen Proving Ground as a custodian, a timekeeper, and later worked in ceramics as a saleslady. Jo retired from the government in 1974 when Neal passed. They were married for 32 years.
In 1975, Jo attended Harford Community College to achieve her GED. Later taking classes to receive her certification in Home Nursing, she cared for sick patients for 16 years.
Jo married Lawrence Amos Dorman in 1987. Jo and Lawrence enjoyed driving to go sightseeing and touring. They liked to watch Orioles baseball and attended some home games. Since Lawrence took care of race horses when he was a young man, they enjoyed going to the Preakness and watching the Kentucky Derby on television. They were married for 21 years when Lawrence passed.
At age 90, Jo finally accepted the fact that she was a senior citizen and joined the Golden Age Club in Aberdeen, MD. At age 95, Jo was still driving. She was always a fast driver and prided herself in never getting a ticket or having an accident. She loved driving to church and visiting the sick.
Josephine’s favorite scripture was Psalm 23 and she always said that she did not have a favorite hymn but loved all hymns.
Josephine was blessed by God to have a long, fulfilled, happy life. We are so blessed to have had her in our lives these 101 years.
Josephine was predeceased by many family members and friends, including her parents; her two husbands; two sons: Neal Douglas Ferguson, John Rogers Ferguson and his wife Sonia; son-in-law Billy Ray Thomas; grandson Anthony Rogers Ferguson, Sr.; great granddaughter LaTicia Lenae’ Ferguson; brother John Thomas and wife Irene; sister Doris Holland and husband Milton; sister Daisy Gittings and husband Louis; and sister Peggy Redd.
Josephine leaves to cherish her memory her daughters, Grace Thomas of Havre de Grace, MD, Margie Witherspoon and her husband David of Aberdeen, MD; her son Edward H. Ferguson and his wife Fannie of Abingdon, MD; stepson, Lawrence Baylor and his wife Sherrie of Baltimore, MD; stepdaughter, Valerie Triplin and her husband Wayne of Glen Burnie, MD.
14 grandchildren: Yolanda Ferguson, Neal D. Ferguson II, Mark Ferguson (wife Lisa), Scott Thomas, Sharron Lawrence (husband Kenneth), Edward J. Ferguson (wife Felicia), Shana Tisdale, Darren Dorsey, Tiffanie Witherspoon, Eric Witherspoon,
Dwight Thomas, Jr., Brandace Baylor, Brittney Baylor-Ferguson, and Lawrence Baylor, Jr.
17 great grandchildren: Neal D. Ferguson III, Desmond Ferguson, Sr., Victoria Ritter, Xavier Ferguson, Cameron Ferguson, Valaida Ferguson, Carrie Lee, Anthony R. Ferguson, Jr., Bryant Tisdale, Jossie Burgos, Ojaile Burgos, Gabriela Ramirez Burgos (husband Will), Antonio Thomas, Ariella West, Makenna Witherspoon, Jayden Witherspoon and Elliana Witherspoon.
15 great great grandchildren: Janeall Ferguson, Desmond Ferguson, Jr., Kadence Ferguson, Kasen Ferguson, Ezra Ferguson, Lane Ferguson, Sean Ferguson, Andrew Jones, Makye Ritter, Sean Ritter, Sean Lindsay, Josiah Lindsay, Janette Lee, Isaiah Lee, and Sebastian Ramirez Burgos. Also, one God daughter, Patricia Coley and a host of many more loved ones--nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
God bless you, The Family