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SSC-Natick Press Release

U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Public Affairs Office

Date: June 1, 2007
No: 07-17

Conference room renamed to honor employee

The family of Charles Ferris attend a dedication ceremony renaming the garrison manager's conference room to the Mr. Charles "Chuck" Ferris Conference room May 23. Pictured from left to right are his widow Mary, daughter Chrissie, mother Fran, and son Charley. (Photo by Richard Walunas.)

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NATICK, 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 event."

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 said.

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 way.

Zicko said that this event was a wonderful tribute for a wonderful person.

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
We will forever miss his dedication to duty, humor, compassion, and gentlemanly charm.
Proudly served his country in the U.S. Army and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Massachusetts National Guard.
Devoted Soldier, Civilian, Husband, Father and Friend.
Dedicated on this day
May 23, 2007

This page last updated on 10 May 2006.