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Retired Major Howard Millard Ferrill

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Major Howard Millard Ferrill (USAF-Ret), beloved husband, Dad, Grandpa (Fa Fa, Pop, Pop), Great Grandpa and brother, made his final change of station in his 85th year, entering into eternal life on February 13, 2019.

He was born to Howard Lee and Mable Irene (Baker) Ferrill in Belleville, IL moving to Carbondale, IL in the mid 1930’s where his father opened Ferrill’s Shoe Store.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church and was very proud of his “7 Year Pin” received for not missing Sunday School for over seven years.

He graduated from High School in 1951 and worked for a short time as a telephone lineman. He entered the Army as a 17-year-old Corporal, Demolition Expert with the 44th Infantry Division, Illinois National Guard during the Korean War. He was stationed at Ft. Belvoir, VA, Camp Cooke, CA and Ft Lewis, WA.

After his discharge from the Army, he ran his father’s Shoe Store for a year. He then joined the USAF in 1954, and was subsequently assigned to Andrews AFB, MD where he served as the Base CE Programmer, planning communications-electronics and navigational aids and their supporting facilities for the base.

He entered Officer Candidate School (OCS) in 1958 and was commissioned in June 1959. He served in the Caribbean (Operation Power Pack), Europe (twice – Ramstien AFB and Frankfurt Germany), Japan and various stateside locations including Lackland AFB, TX; Scott AFB, IL; Andrews AFB, MD; Keesler AFB, MS (three times); and 12th Air Force in Waco, TX.

He retired as a Major from the United States Air Force Security Service (Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency), now 25th Air Force where he served with European Security Region (ESR/ USAFSS), in Frankfurt, Germany, and the 6906th Security Squadron at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, after 22 total years of military service. He retired in 1973.

He then spent 19 years with McDonnell Douglas in Houston, TX, where he served as the Communication Security (COMSEC) and Operations Security (OPSEC) consultant to NASA’s Space Shuttle Program Office, in Houston, TX. He played a key role in the design, acquisition, and implementation of the COMSEC equipment for the Space Shuttle Orbiter fleet, and the supporting Space Transportation System secure ground network.

He received numerous awards and commendations from the Army, USAF, the Naval Security Group, National Security Agency (NSA), NASA, and McDonnell Douglas.

He and his wife Martha moved to Pecan Plantation, Granbury in 1995, and are members of the First Presbyterian Church, Granbury, TX, where he served as an active Elder for eight years serving in Long Range Planning.

He was a Lifetime member of the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS) with a CPP (Certified Protection Professional); the OPSEC Professional Society (OPS), with an OCP (OP-SEC Certified Professional) where he was a founding member, and served as their second National President and Editor of their first three OPSEC Journals; the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE); the Freedom Through Vigilance Association (USAFSS); the Disabled American Veterans (DAV); Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), and the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars (VFW). He also served as the President of the 44th Infantry Division Veteran’s Association for 8 years; and President of McDonnell Douglas’s Houston Management Club. He was also a member of the Air Force Association (AFA), and the American Legion. He received his BS and MA from the University of Houston.

Howard loved and was very proud of his family. He loved to travel, visiting his children and sisters several times a year, and national parks from coast to coast, and three trips to Europe. He and Martha were married for 28 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Stella I. (Miller) Ferrill the mother of his daughters, and his past wife Patsy L. (Dobbs) Harley mother of his son.

Survivors: Wife Martha Sparks Ferrill of Granbury, TX; daughters Donna Stowe of South Bend, IN; Toni Fer-rill of Hastings, MN; Edie Fer-rill of Hudson, WI; Veneise Bame and husband Kevin of Monticello, MN; son Howard Lee Ferrill II and wife Dana of Branson, MO; step daughter Kathryn Habluetzel and husband Wally of Houston, TX; and sisters Willowdean Stone and husband Larry of Pekin, IL; and Shirley Griggs and husband Bill of West Frankfort, IL; sixteen grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren.

Celebration of Life: 11:00 AM, Saturday, February 23, 2019, First Presbyterian Church, Granbury.

Hood County News

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