Elizabeth Ferguson

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.