Carroll Edgar "Ed" Ferrell

Posted: Friday, June 11, 2010

Long-time Juneau resident Carroll Edgar "Ed" Ferrell died May 5, 2010, in Cornville, Arizona, at the home of his brother, Wayne Little. He was 81.

Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2009, Ed spent his remaining months with family in Seattle and Arizona.

Born March 29, 1929, in Campbell, Missouri, to Helen (nee Holt) and Harry R. Ferrell, Ed's earliest years were happily spent on his grandparent's farm. His mother later married Oscar Little and the family moved to Detroit, Michigan. Ed disliked city life, taking refuge in reading frontier adventures. In 1940, the family settled in Phoenix, Ariz. where Ed thrived; hunting and prospecting in the desert became his favorite pastimes.

After high school, in 1947, Ed embarked on an Alaskan adventure; he and his best friend drove a '33 Ford sedan to Seattle, sold it and booked tickets up the Inside Passage on the steamship Baranof. After a summer of hunting, bottle digging and exploring long abandoned encampments, Ed returned to Arizona. But Alaska's call lured him back to Juneau. In 1954, en route to a poker game, he met Nancy Warren. The two married the next year, becoming parents to twins, Patricia and William in 1966. Ed and Nancy loved Juneau, and with the exception of a couple of years in Utah, to complete Ed's education, made it their home.

Earning degrees in journalism and English at BYU, Ed discovered his life's work: teaching. Hired in 1962, he taught English at Juneau-Douglas High School where he also supervised production of the school newspaper and yearbook for many years. Generations of teenagers learned to compose a well-written essay and groan at bad puns from Mr. Ferrell. In 1986, Ed set-off on his final adventure: retirement.

In addition to running the genealogical library at the local LDS church, Ed began writing, ultimately publishing six books - most about early life in the North-country. He also honed his skills as a woodworker and enjoyed sharing his knowledge in woodshop classes at University of Alaska Southeast. Ed and Nancy traveled frequently: exploring far-away ports, taking classes and visiting family.

Ed was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy Warren Ferrell.

He is survived by his daughter, Patricia A. Ferrell of Seattle, Washington; son, William T. Ferrell of Olympia, Washington; sister, Shirley Adkison of Sand Point, Idaho; and brothers Wayne and George Little, both of Cornville, Arizona. Ed was still woodworking, sharing stories and telling jokes until the end of his adventure. He was loved and will be missed.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, (877-272-6226) or to the Lustgarten Foundation, (1-866-789-1000).

A memorial gathering is scheduled for Aug. 8 at the Parkshore Condominium Community Center in Juneau from 1-4 p.m.

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