Kenneth Ross “Kemo” Ferguson finally found a fight he couldn’t finish in the form of Covid-19. He passed away Monday, January 11, 2021 at Methodist Houston after a week of hard-fought measures by the medical staff and prayers from hundreds of friends and family. He was 71. Kemo began his earthly journey November 12, 1949 in Navasota, Texas as the fourth child of Edna Nell Dean and Cecil Dale Ferguson, Sr. It became apparent at an early age that he was a scrappy kid who could hold his own. Even needles couldn’t budge him. Once as he was getting vaccinated, his arm tensed up and bent the needle. This set the tone for any adversary or adversity he faced. His siblings no longer dared call him, “Cream Puff.” He became “Kemo”. In the early 1950s the family moved to a small farm in Alvin, Cecil Ferguson Sr’s birthplace. Kemo attended Alvin Schools and was very successful in 4H and FFA raising and showing pigs and other livestock. He won many awards and Grand Champion Boar at the Brazoria County Fair and at the Houston Livestock Show, he excelled garnering ribbons and accolades. He mentored and encouraged many others in this field and as he got older was even a judge at these same shows.
During high school, Kemo fell in love with one beautiful, dark-haired AHS twirler, Laurie Henry. They married after high school and had one daughter, Melissa “Missy”. She became their world and this tomboy of a girl, never failed or lacked for anything. The parents divorced when Missy was young and Kemo was granted sole custody. At that time this was unusual, and he relished his responsibilities, juggling work and fatherhood. The village of Alvin along with family members, friends and Laurie guided Missy to adulthood. At a very early age, Kemo followed his father’s footsteps working construction jobs especially brick laying and masonry. If you took a ride with him around Alvin, he would proudly point to a building, home, or fence and say, “We built that.” He held many jobs and kept honing his skills as a masonry specialist. He worked alongside his dad bidding jobs and completing projects. Along the way, he mentored and trained many young men to become responsible and dependable. He always told them, “If you want a hand up, look at the end of your arm.”
Kemo began working for various construction companies and worked for Brown and Root, Hartney, and J.T. Thorpe. He became a supervisor and manager and again found himself mentoring young workers. After 35 years, the construction trade took a toll on his health, and he retired to follow his dreams of biking, fishing, traveling and spending time with family and friends. He cherished life in his home next door to his beloved Missy and family. When Kemo found some free time, especially on weekends, he played percussion in a band, “Willie’s Boys” and was sometimes paid. He enjoyed riding motorcycles, camping, and fishing. Classic cars, gardening, and grandkids were just a few of his favorite things in life. Kemo made a profession of faith and was baptized at Alvin Missionary Baptist Church. He now joins many family members in heaven who cheered his arrival. His paternal grandparents were Charles Frank Ferguson and Laura Alida Stow and his maternal grandparents were Ed Dean and Annie Bell Matthews Stewart Nelson.
Kemo is preceded in death by his parents, former wife, Laurie Catherine Henry, his brother Eddie Joe Ferguson, Sr., niece Stacy Kendrick and nephew Steven Owens. He is survived by: his daughter, Melissa (Missy) and husband, Chris Pilkington, grandchildren, Kody Ferguson O’Brien, Karsyn O’Brien, Kennley O’Brien, Bryce Pilkington, Kaitlyn Pilkington and Conner Pilkington (Alvin), brother Cecil Ferguson, Jr. and wife Margaret (Alvin), sisters Ann McDougal and husband Ken (Denison, TX), Nell Taylor and husband John (Alvin), and Kay Kendrick and husband Don (Lubbock, TX), Sister in law Patsy Ferguson (Woodlands, TX), his lifelong friend, Marcy Kiger (Alvin), plus numerous other relatives and friends.
Kemo loved this verse: Romans 8:37 “Yet, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Donations and memorials (in any amount) may be made to a cause Kemo lived and loved throughout his life--helping others. A vocational scholarship at Alvin Community College has been established. Please donate to: Kemo Ferguson Second Chance Vocational Scholarship https://epay.alvincollege.edu/C20358_ustores/web/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=439 Thank you!