A Celebration of Life will be held for Dr. James S. “Doc” Ferguson will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 20 at Events Off 5th, 515 College St., Columbus, MS.
Ferguson, former director of the University of Alabama “Million Dollar Band” and the “Pride of the South Marching Band“ at the University of Mississippi died at the age of 85 on Mar. 17, 2021. At the time of his death, he resided in Woodstock, Georgia with his wife, Micki, his puppies, Gracie and Lucy and his beloved backyard full of cypress trees, catalpa trees, and bluebirds.
Ferguson graduated from S.S. Lee High School in 1953. He earned his B.A. degree from the University of Mississippi in 1956. He entered the teaching profession by taking a position as Director of Bands, Pontotoc Mississippi High School in 1957 followed by his position as Band Director at Marks Mississippi High School 1958-1960 and H.V. Cooper High School Band in Vicksburg, Mississippi 1961-1963. He received his Master of Music Degree in 1965 and his Doctor of Music Education in 1966. From 1966 — 1970 he was the Director of Bands and Full Professor at The University of Mississippi. Then he became the Director of Bands and Full Professor at the University of Alabama from 1971 through 1983.
After retiring from band directing, Ferguson started Datron Software Services in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1992 he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana with Micki and their blended family and obtained his Master of Social Work degree. When the family moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1996, Ferguson worked as an Oracle DBA and Data Analyst, before retiring once again in 2011 to enjoy nature and create musical projects. Jim remained an ardent student of all subjects for his lifetime. In the weeks preceding his death he had decided he was going to learn to play piano like Dr. John. He was doing very well on the piece, “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.”See a typo? Report it here.