Macon County Sheriffs Department Deputy Lonnie Ferguson, age 55 of Lafayette, passed away from a heart attack on Monday, August 4, 2008 at the Trousdale Medical Center in Hartsville.
A native of Tullahoma and the son of the late Raymond and Pauline Ferguson, Lonnie had spent the past 31 years of his life involved in law enforcement.
In addition to his employment at the Macon County Sheriffs Department, which began on January 1, 2006, Lonnie worked for the Winchester Police Department, the Canon County Sheriff’s Department and several other law enforcement agencies.
“Lonnie started is career in law enforcement when he was 18 years old in Tullahoma,” said wife Ronda Ferguson. “It was his whole life . . . it was very important to him.”
While Lonnie was passionate about his career, Ronda also remembers his love for Macon County.
“Lonnie truly loved Macon County,” she said. “We moved here after we got married and he told me several times over the past six months that Macon County was truly his home now, that the people here are the friendliest, kindest people he had ever met. He wanted to stay here for the rest of his life . . . all of you won his heart.”
Describing her late husband as a very likable man with a great sense of humor and a kind heart, Ronda remembers the day she first met Lonnie.
“I was working a little country store and Lonnie would come in every morning,” she said. “Well, after awhile he would start coming in three or four times a day, and I finally got up the nerve to ask him to dinner.”
Soon after, the two became inseparable.
“I would call him when he worked nights and ask him what he wanted for dinner,” Ronda recalled smiling. “He didn’t have the time to stop and eat so I would put his dinner in the mailbox and he would drive by and pick it up . . . his buddies always joked that Lonnie had his own personal drive-thru.”
While Lonnie was stern when it came to his job, Ronda said he was a very loving family man.
“When Lonnie’s mother became ill, he refused to put her in a nursing home,” she said. “He quit his job, took a position in the school system and took care of her until she passed away in December of 2004. Even if it meant giving up his job, it didn’t matter to Lonnie because he was doing it for his mom.”
During his younger days, Lonnie was a NASCAR driver for nearly seven years. Driving the #25 car, Lonnie circled the track with NASCAR greats Dale Earnhardt and Rusty Wallace and, up until he passed away, was an avid collector of NASCAR memorabilia.
“Lonnie was the biggest NASAR fan, and he loved buying and trading things. He loved a good bargain,” Ronda said smiling. “He was a very good man . . . we all miss him very much.”
Funeral services for Lonnie Ferguson were conducted Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at the Tullahoma Funeral Home Chapel.