Mass. -- Family, friends and co-workers of Charles 'Chuck' Ferris
gathered at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center (SSC) on May 23 to
celebrate his life and memorialize him through the dedication of the
garrison conference room.
Ferris was a management analyst in the Plans, Analysis and
Integration Office (PAIO) at the time of his death Nov. 21, 2006.
"It is fitting that we do this on a beautiful spring day," said
Evelyn Zicko, chief of the PAIO and Ferris' former supervisor.
"Chuck was a very special person who touched many lives. He was a
great human who served his country and also a dear friend, a
dedicated professional and co-worker."
Zicko mentioned how Ferris loved sports and said that he would
have been very happy that the Boston Red Sox won their game against
the Yankees the previous night.
Chaplain (Maj.) Robert Williams then presented his own version of
the Gettysburg Address geared to the event and to Ferris. One of the
verses included that we meet not on a great battlefield, but on an
installation to serve Soldiers, and we dedicate the conference room
to a beloved servant of Soldiers.
The garrison manager's conference room will now be known as the
Mr. Charles 'Chuck' Ferris conference room.
People entering this conference room may not have known Chuck,
Williams said, but when they leave after seeing the plaque they will
know how the life of one person can make a difference.
"Chuck goes on living through his family," said John Manning,
acting garrison manager. "We're happy they were able to attend this
Ferris' widow, Mary; son, Charley; daughter, Chrissie; and
mother, Fran, all were present for the dedication ceremony.
Manning described Ferris as a distinguished, well-respected
employee from the PAIO who was responsible for important programs
such as Lean Six Sigma, Common Levels of Support and the Geographic
Information System that is now used throughout the SSC installation.
Ferris' widow said that he lives on in many ways.
"Thank you for being here and for remembering Chuck. One of the
lessons he gave me at the end of his life was, 'Never give up'" she
Mary told a story about how Ferris said the doctors admired him
because they could not believe that with his medical condition he
was able to maintain such a regular life.
She continued by saying that he had an impact on so many people
and she is forever grateful that he is able to be remembered this
Zicko said that this event was a wonderful tribute for a
Ferris' mother said he would have loved the dedication event.
Prior to working in PAIO, Ferris worked in the Integrated
Logistics Support Center at the SSC and also retired as a lieutenant
colonel from the Massachusetts National Guard.
The plaque dedication reads:
In Memory of
Mr. Charles "Chuck" Ferris
will forever miss his dedication to duty, humor, compassion, and
Proudly served his country in the U.S. Army
and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Massachusetts National
Devoted Soldier, Civilian, Husband, Father and
Dedicated on this day
May 23, 2007