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Obituary of Bruce William Alder Ferguson
On Saturday August 28th, 2021 at 1:15p.m. Bruce Ferguson departed his body. Born, Bruce William Alder Ferguson in San Francisco, Ca July 24th 1953 to Eileen Lucy Ferguson a Single Mother, School Teacher, World Traveler and Humanitarian…the pair were two peas in a pod. In 1957 Bruce and his mother left San Francisco for India where he lived and attended school until he was 14 while his mother taught children at Woodstock School, an international school in the foothills of the Himalayas. In the time that Bruce and his mother were there, they survived the China/Tibet Crisis Phase. Historically, this is when the People’s Republic of China (PRC) asserted it’s national sovereignty over the Tibetan region which was led by his Holiness the Dalai Lama, whom Bruce’s mother personally met. Conflict was had for many years in the exact region where Bruce and his mother were. His mother shared stories of black outs and raids and hiding children, her own young son Bruce included. Bruce fell in love with the culture and country of India which led to his life-long dream of giving back to India and Sri Lanka by way of his non-profit Reform Through Education who’s goals are to transform anyone into a skilled, self-sufficient, happy and productive member of society who is a competent self learner. His incorporation of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Declaration of Human Rights made accessible by the Youth for Human Rights program as well as the Learning How to Learn training materials offered by Applied Scholastics made this goal a reality. In parts of India, Bruce is known by name and is referred to the white man with the Indian heart. There were many ceremonies held at temples in his honor upon the news of his passing. They grieve and honor him as we do now. Upon leaving India and arriving in California, Bruce attended High School and there he became a member of the singing troupe Southern California Youth Chorale. Bruce toured and often reflected those being some of his happiest days as a young man. Bruce’s love for singing never left him and you would often hear him working and singing in the house. In Spring of 1994 Bruce and Joyce met again for the second time as they were both getting involved in a part time Insurance training program and they buddied up for study sessions so they could pass their exams. They first met in New York City in the 70’s while running in the same circles. In 1996 Bruce proposed and soon after they got married with their children from previous marriages by their side in love and support. Bruce worked alongside his wife for 25 years at UMS Banking a Merchant Credit Card company which provided services to banks in the US. It was there that he helped to create a banking program which launched the company into a whole new league and 10x’d their production and sales. In an industry not often regarded as warm, he was loved. Bruce retired in 2019 and was now able to concentrate on his passion project, Reform Through Education. He worked on Human Rights programs with an all-girl school in Northern India’s Uttar Pradesh. The school has a tree planted in his honor for all that he contributed to the school. He was also responsible for presenting educational materials known as “Study Tech” to an international conference of hundreds of educators at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi, India. On February 29th, 2005, Bruce was awarded a Doctorate of Letters for his work on bringing human rights education to India by Dr. Richard L. Fisher of International Tamil University in Tamil Nadu, India. He was invited to speak at the UN on global issues and In Washington, D.C was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for is work in India and Sri Lanka with Youth for Human Rights. Bruce was a world traveler and has more stamps in his collection of passports than a pilot. A travel bug he got from his mother. Bruce believed that the ability to change the condition of the planet was within everyone’s power. He worked on this every day. His life’s work was truly to build a better world and he did. Bruce had a hearty laugh and a big heart. He lit up a room. He was lighthearted and a dreamer and a doer. He was always willing to lend a hand and always genuinely interested in others. He was very able and did not waste any time when it came to supporting the big concept projects and dreams of people really making ethical and sane impacts on the planet. Bruce is survived by his adoring wife Joyce Gaines, of which he is quoted in saying his love for her came with feelings of “unseen strength”, their wonderful children and their spouses, and their beloved 13 grandchildren who brought him endless joy. We will miss him dearly and wish him all the joy he brought to us on his new adventure.
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