Cover photo for Gloria Rae Bateman Ferguson's Obituary
Gloria Rae Bateman Ferguson Profile Photo
1943 Gloria 2024

Gloria Rae Bateman Ferguson

September 5, 1943 — July 6, 2024

Gloria was born on Sunday, September 5th, 1943, in Glendale California. She was born to Douglas Myron and Naomi Beebe [Gledhill] Bateman. Her father was working for Lockheed Aircraft Corp. as an airplane assembly man at the time of her birth.

World War II created a separation which resulted in Gloria being reared with her father and stepmother, Leta Wright Bateman. The oldest of six children, Gloria grew up being the “mother hen” to her younger siblings. Her childhood home on South Third Street in Tooele, Utah provided a positive environment for growing into adulthood. She met her husband, Ike, at a Church-sponsored dance in Tooele during the summer of 1959. They married six months after his return from a 2 ½ year LDS mission in 1965.

After high school Gloria completed an executive secretary course at LDS Business College and took employment at Tooele Army Depot and then Dugway Proving Grounds. Her claim to fame as a Mail and Records secretary with a high security clearance was that she once obtained entrance onto the base using her Mickey Mouse Club membership card. After her marriage to Ike in March 1965 Gloria transferred from the Army Depot to the Social Security Administration in Provo where Ike attended Brigham Young University. 

Life sped up for Gloria as gradually she was looking after children while Ike pursued his studies and professional work. Over the next 50+ years she was a devout wife, mother, and provider of church/community service, as work and Church assignments took them to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Arizona, and Ghana in West Africa, with several stops back in Utah along the way. Though at times tiring and emotionally straining, Gloria always had the mantra, “Grow where you are planted.” During the graduate school years living in a small apartment with three children, one sister at Church said to Gloria, “You seem different from the other students. You seem as if you are at home.” She had an uncanny ability to love and serve family and friends wholeheartedly wherever she happened to be, and to enjoy the people and local surroundings.

Gloria was never to be underestimated. During their lean years at Ohio State University, she learned that a new Walt Disney theme park was soon to be opened in Florida. She wanted the family to have that experience because, as she said— “We were only 14 hours away by car.” Pulling a wagon filled with children and products, she spent more than a year walking the pavement around the married student housing facility selling Avon products. Gloria saved enough money to take their young family to Walt Disney World for a wonderful week of adventure in the 2nd year of its operation-1973. She had an envelope of cash for each needed cost—gas, food, trailer parking, park entrance fees, and miscellaneous. The family arrived back home with a few dollars still in one or two of the envelopes.

As a young mother Gloria learned the importance of living in the “Now” and depending on the Lord, as the family dealt with the reality of cystic fibrosis in their first daughter, Sharmayn. The constant medications and therapies, periodic hospital admissions, and ultimate loss, required both faith and grit. But her faith did not falter and she gained a firm spiritual testimony of life after death.

Gloria always found ways to contribute to the family income without sacrificing her duties to love and care for her children. She walked her children to school, where she served as a crossing guard and later in the school cafeteria. She took Kiera as a preschooler to work a couple of afternoons a week to sell Gosner cheese out of the back of a truck from a parking lot at 5-Points mall in Bountiful. As the children grew older, she took a job as a secretary at a HeadStart school in Rose Park. Though a full-time position, she convinced the principal to allow her to work part-time 25-30 hours a week so that she could send the kids off to school and be back home when they returned home each day. She just had to work harder and more efficiently in getting her job done. She managed to enjoy the job for 12 years before Gloria and Ike were sent off on another “Grow where you are planted” adventure in Arizona.

As a companion to Ike as a mission president, Gloria became the lifeblood of the mission. She had the ear of virtually every missionary because of her endearing qualities—being a good listener among them. She became an expert of in-grown toenails and diagnosing various ailments including prescriptions for how to survive Dear John letters.

The mission experience provided a great springboard for Gloria and Ike’s next great adventure in West Africa. Literally days after arriving in Ghana for Ike’s work, a new bishop informed Gloria that the Lord knew she was coming to Ghana and told him to call her as a Young Women’s president. The next four years were filled with bringing to life the hopes and dreams of dozens of young girls, both physical and spiritual. More than 35 girls eagerly earned the Young Women’s medallion. Solace Pearl, a 15-year-old who had finished the requirements asked, “Sister Ferguson, what am I going to do now? Can I do it again?” 

Back from Ghana, Gloria was called for the 4th time in her Church service to be a Relief Society President in the Holmes Creek Ward. “Why would the Lord call an old lady?” she asked. Because, the bishop said, He had something specific for her to do in the ward—and for the next three years she did it. 

Less than a month after Ike’s retirement, he and Gloria were called to be Church-service missionaries in the Humanitarian Services doing special projects around the world. During the next 12 years they made more than 70 trips to 10 different countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia managing special humanitarian projects for the Church. Her fear of flying was never totally conquered, but she gave her all to serve in her unique and spirited ways with everyone she met.

Gloria was preceded in death by her father, Douglas M. Bateman; mother, Leta Wright Bateman, brother, Larry D. Bateman, and daughter, Sharmayn Ferguson. She is survived by her husband, Isaac C. “Ike” Ferguson; son, Shawn I. Ferguson (Carol); daughter, Kiera F. Ritterbusch (Marc); son, Devin D. Ferguson; 10 grandchildren; six great grandchildren; sister-in-law Sherrie Bateman; sister Eileen Risley (Dave); brothers Myron Bateman (Miriam), Curtis Bateman (Mary), and Boyd Bateman (Ronda).

Family and friends may join the family for visitation on Thursday July 11, 2024 from 6-8 PM at the Russon Brothers Mortuary in Farmington, 1941 No. Main St. and on Friday July 12, 2024 from 10:30-11:45 AM, at the Kaysville West Stake Center, 1035 S Angel St, Kaysville, prior to the funeral service which will take place at noon. The funeral service will be streamed live on the Russon Mortuary Live Facebook page and on this obituary page below, and will begin 10-15 min prior to the service. 

Interment will be at the Bountiful Cemetery, 2224 So. 200 West, Bountiful, Utah

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gloria Rae Bateman Ferguson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Thursday Night Viewing for Gloria Ferguson

Thursday, July 11, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)

Russon Mortuary & Crematory - Farmington

1941 N. Main St., Farmington, UT 84025

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Viewing for Gloria Ferguson

Friday, July 12, 2024

10:30 - 11:45 am (Mountain time)

Kaysville West Stake Center

1035 S Angel St, Kaysville, UT

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service for Gloria Ferguson

Friday, July 12, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Kaysville West Stake Center

1035 S Angel St, Kaysville, UT

Livestream

Click to watch

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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