Sharon Carol Scates Ferguson

Photo of Sharon Carol Scates Ferguson
SHARON CAROL SCATES FERGUSON, age 76, daughter of Beatrice Eleanor Fulmer and Herman Harold Scates, passed away peacefully on July 18, 2019, after a courageous journey with Lewy Body Dementia. She was born October 17, 1942, in North Little Rock, Ark. Most important in her life was her family and she was a dedicated mother first and foremost. Sharon is survived by her three children: a son, C. Anthony (Tony) Ferguson II (Shannon) of Beebe, Ark.; and two daughters, Dana Ferguson Silaski (Gordon) of Little Rock and Lisa Ferguson Hirschman (Louise Percer) of Memphis, Tenn. Sharon cherished her role as "Mimi" to her precious grandchildren: Blake and Grant Hirschman; Katherine Drew, Rachel and Sarah Silaski; Lily, Lola and Anthony Augustus "Gus" Ferguson. She loved and shared special moments with a dear companion and friend, Dave Davenport of North Little Rock. Also treasured: three nieces, Terri, Shelly and Jackie and their families; her nephew Dale; her cousins, particularly one who was like a sister, Vicki Hacker (Ron) and family; her lake family, Carolyn and Kip Moore and family; and many wonderful, dear friends -- gathered from a lifetime in her beloved hometown, her career and many travels, and her commitment to young people. She was predeceased by her parents and two brothers, Jimmy Harold Scates and Herman Dale Scates. In August 2014, Sharon retired from 44 years as owner and executive director of North Little Rock Junior Cotillion, instructing more than 8,000 children in social graces and ballroom dancing, but really teaching kindness and skills to spark confidence in any social or professional situation. She believed that true good manners must come from the heart, from treating people the way that you want to be treated. She believed that if she could reach one child each year and make a positive difference, her efforts would be worthwhile. Having former students return to enroll their own children brought her great joy. Sharon's work ethic and independence inspired her family. She retired after a 25-year career with Wyndham Vacation Ownership and Fairfield Resorts, most recently serving as a Vice President and director of incentive programs. Planning trips domestically and internationally, she organized and hosted events to rave reviews. She treasured the fellowship and friendship with her colleagues throughout the U.S. Sharon was a graduate of NLR High School, attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and formerly served on the Advisory Board of the Hospitality College of Arkansas Tech University. She became a Certified Meeting Planner in New York in 1981 and was a member of Meetings & Planners International and Executive Women International. Even though she traveled extensively, her favorite times were spent building memories with family and friends at her "Malfunction Junction" cabin on Greers Ferry Lake. Her family believes that Sharon holds an unofficial world record for number of sandwiches and watermelons served from a pontoon boat on Greers Ferry Lake – truly her favorite place! As a volunteer, Sharon acted on her faith and her values. She was a member of the Cathedral of St. Andrew and volunteered for years as the Remembrance Candles Caretaker. Always an advocate for education and young people, she embraced roles as Girl Scout troop leader, volleyball coach, PTO president and fundraiser. Her board memberships and leadership roles included National Community Health Charities, CARTI North Advisory Board, Junior League of NLR, NLR Jaycees, and Arthritis Foundation. She served as the first female President of the March of Dimes Association Board of Directors and as a member of their National Board of Trustees. She was an enthusiastic supporter of the good work of the NLR Friendly Chapel Church. Sharon was humbled by recognition in 1979 as the Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen of NLR, as a Woman of the Year in Arkansas in 1980, and as a 1995 recipient of the NLR Mayor's Outstanding Service to Youth Award. Visitation will be held Monday, July 22, beginning at 5 p.m. with a Rosary to follow at 7 p.m. at Smith Family Funeral Home - North Little Rock, 1921 Main Street, NLR, Ark., 72114. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, July 23, at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Andrew, 617 Louisiana Street, Little Rock, Ark., 72201. Burial will be at Mountain Springs Cemetery, Cabot, Ark. Memorials may be given to the Catholic High School Foundation,, 6300 Father Tribou Drive, LR, Ark. 72205; Mount Saint Mary Academy Foundation,, 3224 Kavanaugh Blvd., LR, Ark. 72205; Fishers of Men, care of Friendly Chapel Church, 116 S. Pine Street, NLR, Ark., 72114; or through acts of kindness in her memory. Sharon has been cared for by a team of angels on this earth. Our profound thanks to her loving caregivers in the home, at NLR Fox Ridge Assisted Living, through Hospice Home Care and UAMS Longevity Center, and to the many friends who have showered Sharon and family with love and support. Lewy Body Dementia is complex, but it is not a rare disease. Because it closely resembles Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, it is currently widely underdiagnosed. To learn more for yourself or those you love, please visit Arrangements by Smith Family Funeral Home. Online guestbook at

Published July 21, 2019